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Cheese Chase Ends In Casualties.

Contestants in a traditional British cheese rolling competition broke bones and skinned their knees and elbows Monday in their pursuit of a giant piece of cheese down a steep hill.

The competition, in which participants hurl themselves 640 feet (200 metres) down a hill after an 8lbs (3.6kg) cheese, has been celebrated for centuries in Gloustershire, west of London. The race is thought to originate from a heathen festival to welcome the spring. The first person to follow the cheese across the line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese and a small cash prize.

Thousands of people attended Monday’s event and the local ambulance service reported three people were taken to hospital with suspected fractured limbs, while 18 were treated for bruises and abrasions.

Teenager Chris Anderson, who won one of the four cheese races contested Monday, was taken to hospital on a stretcher, clutching his winning slab of cheese to his chest.

"The pain was worth it,  Anderson said. "This cheese is going straight in a cupboard when I get home. It’s definitely not for eating."

The winner of the women’s event was a New Zealander, Dione Carter, who said she took a few tumbles as she won the race for the second year running.

Organizer Richard Jefferies said Monday’s event ran smoothly and injuries were down on previous years. "It’s a good part of the local heritage and a tradition we would like to keep going,  Jeffries said.

Photos from various cheese chasing events. Nothing's as fun as watching morons hurt themselves...

A new adrenaline sport for the masses? Probably not - too dangerous. Who'd have thought? Cheese: the silent killer.

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