Bog Snorkelling’s not for Wimps

By | Category: Travel destinations

competitors face all manner of trials!

Last Saturday the key tourist attraction was the Henley-on-Todd Regatta. This Sunday the focus of the entire world – plus green Martians and orbiting spacecraft will be on the Welsh town of Llanwrytd Wells where the World Bog Snorkelling Championships will be taking place.
Attracting visitors from around the world, this important event attracts almost as many media. Rumours that the BBC wanted exclusive rights for the broadcast are wide of the mark since they couldn’t find the 50p required without slashing the director-general’s salary and making John Humphries take a pay cut. So whichever channel you watch, you should be able to see the race. But better still, go there for the atmosphere, the music, the drama, and the mud. Think of Glastonbury with sport and you’re nowhere near understanding it.
So what happens.
Come Sunday competitors (both male and female) wearing goggles, snorkels and flippers (other clothing, preferably fancy dress, for modesty reasons is mandatory as well) will plunge into a specially dug sixty yard trench that has been carefully, painstakingly and with the utmost precision carved into the peat bog. The stress on completing the deadlines for its construction dwarfs anything being worked on at the Olympic site in East London. After all this is much more important and with the world’s eyes on it, everything has to be perfect.
Each competitor has to manage two lengths of the course with no break. Unlike cricket, a clean sport where red cherries and grass stains are the only signs of an afternoon’s amble on a small village green, finding a clean spot on any bog snorkeling competitor would be a sign of insufficient resolve, ability and dedication. These competitors don’t face hamstring or groin problems like namby-pamby footballers or tennis players. For your enjoyment, these sporting gods face trenchfoot, mould and rising damp.
This sport requires dogged determination. Unlike hurdling or sprinting that are over in a flash, concentration, stamina and toughness are needed. The record for completing the course is one hour, thirty minutes and sixty six seconds held by Dan Morgan who snatched the record from Joanne Pitchforth last year. Will the record be broken again this year? Mark your calendar now, programme the satnav, dust off that 1940’s one inch to a mile ordnance survey map and head for Llanwrytd Wells where you can enjoy an afternoon of fun after the race. Or better still, take your togs with you and show your partner you can compete with the best.
Sheelagh Tompkins of the organisers, Green Events, claims this should be on everyone’s list of 100 things to do in your lifetime. What rubbish! It should be in everyone’s top ten. Except mine

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