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Warning: Don't Drink and Roll

June 02, 1999|CHARLE PERRY

The ancient English sport of cheese rolling, which consists of chasing an 8-pound wheel of double Gloucester cheese down a steep 300-yard course, is back. It wasn't really extinct long. The annual spring race at Cooper's Hill, Gloucestershire, had been canceled for one year because 27 racers were injured in 1997's roll.

Stephen Brain, 30, of Gloucester, won all three men's races in the revived event Monday. The winner is the first person to cross the line after the cheese, and the prize is . .. the cheese wheel. "The trick is to try and stay on your feet," Brain said.

This year, only one contestant was taken away in an ambulance, and he was not seriously injured. Richard Jefferies, a member of the organizing committee, credited new safety measures, such as crash barriers and a rescue team. "I think the decision to move it to noon stops people from having too much to drink before they come," he added.

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