Shin Kicking at Olimpick Games - photo by
But, stuffing straw down their trousers, game competitors in the shin-kicking British Championship fought on to the delight of 4,000-strong crowds.
Panting after his victory, shin-kicking champion Phil Titmus, 27, from Mickleton, said: "I've been Thai boxing for 10 years and this is very similar.
"It's a case of being the bigger, harder and faster the better, of letting people tire and then counter-attacking."
Six teams slogged it out for the madcap It's A Knockout-style Championship of the Hill.
Victors of the wacky races, featuring four-men skis, wheelbarrows and pails of water, were the Bedouins, from Todenham. It was the fifth win for captain Barbara Keane.
More macho activities, including the five-mile run, single stick fighting and Tae Kwan Do kept people on their toes.
Revived from the 1750s this year was 'gurning', or grinning through a horse collar for a silver spoon prize.
Peter Whitby, 11, from Stow-on-the-Wold, said: "I'm trying to pull a face like a horse."
South west and Midlands co-ordinators of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad were observing.
The Olimpicks, which celebrate their 400th anniversary the same year, will link up for a special event.
Robert Dover's Games Society vice-chairman Clive Thompson said: "They've been very impressed and we're setting our own bar very high."
After lighting the bonfire and fireworks, a torchlight procession led to the town for dancing.
Scuttlebrook Wake took off the next day with reigning Queen Bethany Hands fronting the fancy dress parade.
New Queen Tabitha King was crowned and there was dancing from local schoolchildren and Campden Morris Men, before the funfair was opened.
Topical walking fancy dress entrants and floats included a skit on the state of Westminster.
Carrying a banner saying 'There was a crooked man . . . And they all lived together in a little crooked house' was Mr Speaker, alias Peter Gardner.
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