Lonely Planet described it as one of the top 50 “must do” things from around the world in 2014, and last weekend proved bog snorkelling is bigger than ever as the annual World Bog Snorkelling Championship took place in Wales.
Enthusiasts headed to the Waen Rhydd peat bog near Llanwrtyd Wells yesterday for the unusual competition, which has been taking place for over 30 years.
The mucky endurance test challenges contestants to swim two lengths of a 55-metre-long trench, with only flippers and a snorkel to help them through the quagmire. Conventional swimming strokes are not allowed. In 2006 there was a ‘bog off’ tiebreak after two snorkellers finished in one minute and 41 seconds, only six seconds behind the world record.
Stella McCartney was unfortunately not on hand to design any of the uniforms, but luckily, contestants came prepared with their own suitably silly costumes.
Participants can only swim using the doggy paddle as the front crawl and breast stroke are banned by organisers, as are monofins and webbed gloves. Most choose to wear wetsuits but some hardy types do without.
The event regularly attracts participants from across the world, including France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Japan.
Run by a team of volunteers, the annual competition is part of a roster of eccentric events held throughout the year at Llanwrtyd Wells, the UK’s smallest town.