Exploring Europe with a backpack and good friend Monday, 19-year-old Delaney Irving of Nanaimo decided to throw caution aside and make a once-in-a-lifetime memory.
“Today when I got to the hill, and I was looking over it, I’m thinking this is probably not a good idea. But I just have to do it,” Irving told CHEK News from her hotel near Gloucestershire, England.
She had decided overnight Sunday not just to watch the world-famous Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Race but to compete in it.
And in a flurry of social media videos, she could be seen among many careening down a near-vertical U.K. hill in pursuit of the seven-pound wheel of cheddar.
“Right away, my adrenaline kicked in, I decided I’m gonna do this, I’m going to try to go as fast as I can,” said Irving.
She ran so fast that she won the women’s race in a tumble that knocked her unconscious.
“I remember falling, hitting my head and then waking up in the medical tent … and the cheese was on my lap, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is crazy,'” said Irving.
“I’m still in shock. I can’t believe that she did it,” Irving’s mother, Krista Endrizzi, told CHEK News in Nanaimo on Monday.
“Then when we got more information, we’re like, ‘No, she actually did win, this is her,'” said Irving’s uncle, Ray, in Nanaimo.
He had talked about the cheese rolling race for years with his niece and said he was in awe that she ran it.
“I’m so excited for her, we’re so proud. It’s fantastic,” he added.
“I’m very excited, I never knew she was doing it. I knew she was going, but I had no idea that she was going to be part of the race, and I would not have let her, but what do you do? She’s 19,” said Endrizzi, smiling.
After a check over in hospital, the future VIU theatre student said she was feeling good considering her earlier fall in the race.
“I feel like I should be hurting more after watching that video, but I’m feeling pretty good right now,” said Irving.
“I talked to her, and she’s doing great she’s doing fine,” said Endrizzi
With just two days left in her Europe vacation, Irving is now considering how to get her giant wheel of cheese home for a feast in Nanaimo.