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Champion cheeseroller Chris Anderson ready to run the Gloucester Half Marathon

All Areas > Sport > Running

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 29th March 2024, 09:00

Chris Anderson is running the Gloucester Half Marathon on Sunday Chris Anderson is running the Gloucester Half Marathon on Sunday

Chris Anderson will be one of the best known runners in the field for the Gloucester Half Marathon on Sunday.

And while the 36-year-old Severn Athletic Club member is an improving runner, it’s not for his running exploits that’s he’s well known.

You see, Anderson is a champion cheeseroller and in recent times has dominated the annual event which takes place on Cooper’s Hill, near Brockworth, in May.

“I’ve done it 26 times and won it 23 times,” he said.

That takes some doing because it’s not an event for the faint-hearted, an event that sees competitors hurl themselves off the top of the hill and bounce, roll and occasionally run down a 200-yard course.

They’re chasing a piece of cheese, of course, and Anderson said: “There are three races each year and I’m the only person who has won all three races on the same day twice.”

That’s very good going but Anderson, who was brought up in Brockworth, readily admits his success has come at some cost.

“I broke my ankle when I first won it,” he said. “That was my second race.

“I’ve also bruised my kidneys and I've torn a calf muscle.”

He’s uncertain whether he’s going to take part this year – “Every year I say I’m retired,” he said – but he’s definitely up for Sunday’s half marathon which starts at 9am.

“I’m hoping to go round in one hour, 25,” said the ex-Brockworth School pupil who these days lives in Leckhampton in Cheltenham.

“I’ve run three half-marathons, my PB is one hour, 27 minutes, 12 seconds.”

Anderson used to play rugby for Brockworth – he was a wing or full-back – and took up running only a couple of years ago, joining Severn AC soon after.

“It was just about getting out and occupying the mind,” he said. “There’s such a good atmosphere at the club, it’s good being with like-minded people.”

And while Anderson is clearly enjoying his running, he wants to be successful too.

“I’d like to get an England Masters vest,” he said. “But that’s a long way off yet.”

As well as half-marathons, Anderson also runs over 5K and 10K and at the weekend just gone he competed in the Berkeley 20, completing the 20 miles in two hours, 13, minutes, eight seconds, a time he was happy with.

So how does the running compare with the cheeserolling?

“They’re worlds apart,” he said, “but at least I know I’m safe when I’m running!”

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Chris Anderson is a champion cheeseroller

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