London, May 27 : Chasing cheese might sound as soft as a piece of cake, but it left nineteen people nursing cuts and bruises after they took part in an annual "Cheese Rolling" tournament in Gloucestershire on Monday.
The tournament is famous as a unique event wherein brave men and women pit their speed and agility against a giant rolling cheese.
The participants climb up the slippery slopes of Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, and once they ar ein position, an 8lb Double Gloucester cheese is released. The runners hurtle down the hill in an attempt to grab it before it crosses the finishing line.
Monday's contest took place amid heavy rain.
Although organisers were sure that the wet weather had softened the ground so much that the risk of any serious injury was very low, over 30 volunteers from the St John Ambulance were seen attending to 19 injuries.
Christopher Anderson, who won the first race, was one of the people who got injured.
His friend Shane Beard, another participant in the race, revealed that Christopher tumbled past the finish line head over heels.
"The conditions were horrific, you just have to get your head down and hope for the best. Chris went absolutely flying. He is completely fearless, but I hope he hasn't hurt himself," the Scotsman quoted him as saying.
Christopher was later released with only minor cuts and bruises.
He had won the race in 2006 also, when he when he knocked himself out, and in 2005, when he sprained an ankle.
Although no one knows the origins of the "Cheese Rolling" tournament, some believe its roots lie in a heathen festival celebrating the birth of spring.