Colorado Springs Man Takes Top Prize In UK Cheese-Rolling Race

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An American Army veteran beat other daredevils who hurled themselves down a hill in a centuries-old English countryside tradition on Monday.

Colorado Springs-based Kenny Rackers, 27, took first place in the main race at the annual cheese rolling competition at Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire, in western England. The races have reportedly taken place since the 1800s.

"It feels great. I trained a long time for this, even got hurt practicing on the hill, came three days early...took a bad spill but I came to win and that's what I did," he said. "I came over 3,000 or 4,000 miles just for this race. I put it on my bucket list and today it was to win and that's what I did."

One man reportedly sustained a broken leg in one of the races, but Rackers, an estate agent in his native Colorado, made it virtually unscathed.

When asked if he had a message to his countrymen, the former serviceman paid tribute to U.S. troops.

"My message is that today we're celebrating Memorial Day and we're remembering all the soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice, so I want to thank all the soldiers past and present for their service for everywhere," he said.

An international field of daredevils took part in the races, defying those, including local police, who had voiced health and safety concerns.

This year organizers had replaced the cheese with a lightweight foam version in order to make the downhill races safer.

There was a large police presence at entrances to the competition site, but the events went ahead as planned.

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