And cheese chasers aren't the only ones at risk; bystanders have also been hurt—by out-of-control runners… and bouncing cheeses.
Rob Seex does his best to make sure the VIPs who roll the eight-pound Double Gloucesters aim for a midpoint at the bottom of the hill, which, whether by coincidence or not, lies right next to the media's bullpen.
"This year there was a camera stand there, so I said aim for that," the emcee smiles.
"But if the cheese hits a bump in the wrong place, it can take off and it can go well up in the sky."
Iris remembers dodging the cheeses as a child.
"Nowadays everybody gets a bit paranoid about the cheese. But in the old days, you didn't seem to worry about it—perhaps it was just that we were a bit thick; we didn't realise then that it would hurt!"
And then some.
By the time they hit the bottom, the cheese wheels are spiralling unpredictably at up to 70 miles an hour.
"That's gotta be a bit of a whack," says Jason, whose mother was hit in the leg by a hurtling cheese. "She had a humongous bruise and couldn't walk for a couple of weeks."
More recently, a spectator banged his head and fell 100 feet down the slope after trying to dodge a wayward cheese.
Fortunately, he didn't suffer the same fate as a fabled bystander from long ago.
His epitaph read:
Here lies Billy, if you please
Hit in the stomach with a cheese
Cheese is wholesome fayre, they say
IT TURNED POOR BILLY INTO CLAY
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