Britain Loves EntertainmentBog Snorkelling Championships - August 26th
Snorkelling is as pleasant a pastime as one could imagine, offering a chance to become one with nature and gaze upon the wonders of life beneath the water line. Yet every year in the smallest town in Britain, people take an alternative approach to what we traditionally know snorkelling to be.
In August at the site of Waen Rhydd Peat bog on the outer edge of Llanwrytd Wells, in Powys, Wales, hundreds of competitors race against each other to attain the fastest time for completing two lengths of a 180ft boggy trench. No “conventional” swimming strokes are allowed; although competitors are permitted to wear flippers and traditional snorkel wear.
Snorkellers and oddballs come from all over the world to compete in this increasingly famous event. Some dress up as grannies complete with handbags, others train hard and come to win. The current world champion is Andrew Holmes from Yorkshire, and the junior and female world champion is Dineka McGuire from Northern Ireland, both achieving sub 90 second records.
The locals love the competition. Some pub regulars, thinking of ways to earn money for charity, dreamt it up in 1976. The event makes money for charity to this day and puts the tiny town of Llanwrytd Wells, with a population of just over 700 people, on the map.
Apart from the disaster of 1995 when the event had to be cancelled due to drought, aspiring snorkellers have been able to wade, wriggle and splash through the dark peaty bog for the last three decades. Bog snorkelling: weird, eccentric and very British.
Join in the conversation at www.facebook.com/TMobileUK
By Tom Greaney