Don’t worry, that’s not a massive typo in our headline, you read that right – ‘Bog Snorkelling’. You shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t know what it entails, either. We assumed that it was some sort of toilet diving until we heard more…
So what is it?
Well, in the simplest terms it’s a type of sport. A type of filthy, muddy sport. You see, it’s basically a swimming race. But instead of an aquatic face-off in a pool or other nice clean body of water, it happens in a dirty ol’ peat bog. Entrants have to complete two consecutive 55 metre lengths, with the quickest person deemed the winner. You’re not allowed to employ any traditional swimming strokes, so there can be no streamlined back crawl or powerful butterfly to guide you through the muck. You can only really rely on ‘flipper power’ (you’re allowed flippers and a wetsuit).
Where can you do it?
Well, technically you can do it anywhere there’s a big dirty swamp, we suppose. Though most fans of bog snorkelling can be found competing in Wales (with a small pocket of enthusiasts found Down Under). It originated in Llanwrtyd Wells and rather unsurprisingly, was the result of a conversation in a pub. We presume a conversation held quite near closing time, if you know what we mean. If you’re any good at it, you can enter the World Bog Snorkelling Championship. It’s held every August Bank Holiday weekend at the Waen Rhydd peat bog, near Llanwrtyd Wells. You’ll have to be good, though. The world record currently stands at an impressive 84 seconds – an big feat for wading through thick cold sludge, we think you’ll agree. Heh – ‘big feat’. Do you get it? Because they wear flippers…? Forget it.
Why on Earth would you want to do it?
No idea… We certainly wouldn’t! But then we’re misers. Each to their own though, eh? And at least it’s safe (well, so long as there’s not a foot and mouth outbreak or your snorkel’s got a hole in it). There’s a great bog snorkelling community and, we presume, plenty of mud fetishists to befriend. There’s also a strong charity element behind most of it. The proceeds of each World Championships going to a different good cause each year. It’s also great exercise. Powering through the heavy mud is a bit more of a work-out than gliding though water. Bog snorkelling is also good for, er, justifying an expensive snorkel purchase? No, that’s a rubbish one. We don’t know, we’ve run out. We think it’s a mad idea. Still though, if you’re keen – have fun! And make sure you’ve got a good detergent back home…
Are you a bit mental? Does this sound like the sort of thing you’d enjoy? What’s wrong with you?! We’d love to know your thoughts on the sport…