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Local teenager wins ancient cheese race klhkjhkjhkjhkjh

The winner of a daredevil race chasing 8lbs of Double Gloucester down a hill at high speed does not even like cheese.

Roly POLY: Hardy competitors attempt with varying degrees of success to negotiate Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire in the annual cheese race. Picture: PA
Roly POLY: Hardy competitors attempt with varying degrees of success to negotiate Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire in the annual cheese race. Picture: PA

Teenager Josh Shepherd ran down Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire like a rocket to take part in the world-famous event.

The 19-year-old, from Brockworth, Gloucester, made sure the winner of the first race was a local.

"I've run quite a few times before but it is the first time I've won," said Josh, who is unemployed.

"It feels good to have won. I had to put all my effort in to get in front of everyone. I'm really happy.

"My tactic was to stay on my feet and go as fast as I can and roll with the flow.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with the cheese. I don't really like cheese unless it's melted, cheese on toast maybe.

"I'm doing it as it's fun. I've done it and won and I'm really proud of myself."

Rebel cheese rollers staged their own unofficial event after health and safety fears caused the official competition to be cancelled in 2010.

An 8lbs round piece of Double Gloucester is chased 200 yards down Cooper's Hill at Brockworth.

After a year's hiatus when police warned against the use of a real cheese - the imitation lightweight foam cheese has been binned in favour of the genuine article.

Long-time cheese-maker Diana Smart, 87, who has produced cheese for the event for more than 25 years, has once again provided the wheels for this year's event.

In total, four cheeses weighing about three kilograms each and three smaller ones, weighing about one-and-a-half kilograms, are used.

The unusual event has been celebrated for centuries and is thought to have its roots in a heathen festival to celebrate the return of spring.

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