Where: – Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom.
The Bog Snorkeling is Wales’s truly bizarre event which is organized every year as a part of the ‘World Alternative Games’. Being reckoned as world’s top 50 ‘must do’ activities, the Bog Snorkeling tests your endurance & fitness as you swim through two slender trenches filled till the neck with the dirtiest swamp of peat you can ever imagine! The fun quotient of this mucky event is enhanced further by a couple of crazier variations which test the stamina of every participant till the world’s end & make them all feel like hell!
Why They Celebrate?
Bog Snorkeling is the sporting event which was organized for the first time in the year 1976. One of the most famous anecdotes behind the conception of this unusual yet fun-filled event reveals that it was all started over a pint! Mr. Gorden Green is said to be the one who, along with some of his local fellas, had tossed up the idea of Bog Snorkeling at ‘The Neuadd Arms Public House’.
In the year 1985, the idea came into reality for the first time in the form of the World Bog Snorkeling Championship & since then, it is being organized with undying spirit & overwhelming zest on every year’s August Bank Holiday.
The mud-filled fun of the Bog Snorkeling has a serious side too. Today, the Bog Snorkeling does the important work of spreading the awareness among the masses to conserve the rapidly vanishing marshlands in the terrain. The marshlands being one of the most important aspects of the northern UK ecosystem, many species of birds & insects find their shelter in the vicinity of the marshlands. This joyous event thus, gives its valuable contribution towards conservation of UK’s unique natural habitat!
How They Celebrate?
The competition of Bog Snorkeling is pretty easy to understand as it’s all about swimming! However, the swimming is made a bit tricky & challenging as the competitors have to swim through two consecutive 60 yards (55 m) long trenches plowed through a peat bog, in the least time possible! It is mandatory for the competitors to wear snorkels in order to justify its name (& also to ease out breathing in swamp) & flippers. The course is made further interesting by refraining the competitors from using the traditional swimming strokes, leaving them with the solitary option of flipping harder to move through the bog!
The most striking feature of this wild completion is that anyone over the age of 14 & willing to get dirty by splashing out the bog, is allowed to participate. The event is held in the ‘Waen Rhydd Peat Bog’ in ‘Llanwrtyd Wells’ town which is renowned as Britain’s smallest town. 18 years old Dineka Maguire from Northern Ireland is the current World Record holder who in 2013, had accomplished the feat in mere 1 min 23.13 seconds!
For those who think that the traditional bog Snorkeling event is too easy to digest, riding a specially modified mountain bike through the 6-foot deep quagmire trench may satisfy the crazy appetite. The fun gets even wilder & dafter with the ‘Bog Snorkeling Triathlon’ completion. This most freaking form of Triathlon requires competitors to run 8 miles followed by snorkeling through two 60-yard long bog trenches & then 12 mile mountain biking!
Apart from enjoying the mucky surroundings, many other things like face painting, arts & crafts, delicious food & drinks, guided tours across the bogs in the vicinity & of course thumping music will take care of your free time once you are done with your turn in the event.