Mother Teresa is here, beer in hand. A Smurf ducks past a Fat Ballerina and onwards past a guy battling to tape jelly cubes to his arms. Around them, the crowd is directing furtive glances down into the brown, soupy water below and chattering in nervous excitement.
In my last post I detailed some of the diverse strangeness that was going on at the 2nd biennial World Alternative Games (check it out here). But I deliberately neglected to mention one of the key events, one that deserves a post and a photo gallery all its own.
Every year in August the World Bog Snorkelling Championships attracts boggers from all over the world to a cold, rush-lined swamp in the central Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells.
Some are drawn by the opportunity to become a World Champion no matter how obscure the sport, others have heard of the event and equate a 120-yard dog paddle through freezing water with some element of fun. Still other make a pilgrimage every year to tackle the bog, even in the most inclement Welsh weather.
This year (2014) over 150 people competed for the Championship and we were lucky enough to bear witness to a new world record, set by 23-year-old Surrey woman, Kirsty Johnson, with a time off 1min 22.56sec.
It’s not often that the same event is as equally attractive to children – with a little girl no more than 2 years old competing on her father’s back – as it is appealing to buck’s parties – that’s the groom in the pink lace panties in the photo gallery.
The World Bog Snorkelling Championships is one of the granddaddies of the strange festival world. So make the trek into this beautiful part of the Wales, coordinate your most outrageous fancy dress, grab a local cider as insulation against the cold and see what you’re really made of.
Click on any of the images below to check out the whole gallery!
And don’t forget to like One Small World on Facebook.
What: World Bog Snorkelling Championships
Where: Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales
When: Runs annually, with every second year running in conjunction with the World Alternative Games.
In 2015 the Bog Snorkelling will be happening on Sunday 29th August.
How much: £15 (adult), £12 (junior)
Why: Bog snorkelling is a dirty weekend and, yes, they do it doggy.
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