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Sport Alternative: Cheese Racing

By Lars Headington

Are these cheese-racing Brits crazy, or just having fun? The answer is both! (photos from cheeseracing.com/)

Remember the last time you were at a cook-out, enjoying a hot dog, a shish kabob or a delish turkey burger? Everyone was gathered listening to Lady Gaga tunes, catching-up, and chatting about foreign oil, field hockey and lolcats.com.

Then the two coolest guys at the cook-out looked at each other knowingly, with a nod and a grin. Then they ran over to the grill, reached into the red Igloo cooler, grabbed up the rest of the Kraft Singles and shouted “CHEESE RACE!!!”

Then everyone crowded ‘round to watch the high-tension, unpredictable pressure-cooker that is competing to see whose individually-wrapped cheese slice expands the quickest on the grill.

You don’t remember a great cook out like that?!

Well then it’s time you were introduced to the sport that has been sweeping Great Britain since 1997, and should soon be seen at a drunken backyard soirée in a college town near you.

What’s that you say? “Get outta here, Lars! You’re just making stuff up again.”

Though that may usually be the case, my hypothetical is based on solid fact. (Except that I think more people are looking at stuffonmycat.com than lolcats.com these days.)

But no lies, today. Cheese Racing is real, my friends. And you too can get in on the fun!

The following site is a great resource for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in cheese racing culture:  http://www.cheeseracing.com/

But for the rest of you who want to start playing immediately, here are the rules, as put forward by Britain’s leading authority on the sport, CRASS(Cheese Racing Association).  Now go have fun – and don’t burn yourselves!

  • All players must place their cheese on the BBQ at the same time.
  • Cheeses must not overlap.
  • After the initial throwing of the cheese onto the barbecue (the “cast”), one poke of the slice (the “poke”) is permitted in cases of accidental overlap when the offending cheeses must be repositioned as quickly as possible. No further touching of the cheese is permitted.
  • No blowing/fanning the flames under your cheese.
  • The winning cheese is defined as the one whose reaches a fully inflated stage first. Fully inflated means that all four corners have raised off the BBQ and the plastic is taut (distinctive “stretch” marks which appear on the sides of the parcel). This state must maintainable (i.e. it does not count if the bag is pulsing up and down due to springing a leak).
  • Note that springing a leak does not automatically mean you have lost – it is possible for the hole to become sealed with melted cheese and the bag to fully inflate anyway – such is the excitement of cheese racing – it’s not over till it’s over!
  • In the event of a draw, the tied cheese owners will race again.
  • Deliberate breaking of any of these rules will result in your cheese being disqualified and removed from the BBQ.


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