Bog Snorkeling is a Filthy AdventureBe ready to dog paddle (no regular swim strokes allowed) and kick your way using flippers along a six-foot-deep, 60-yard, water-filled trench chopped out of a peat bog. You'll have to turn around and go back to the starting point to finish your bog snorkeling adventure, but don't be surprised when slimy weeds snare your legs, and leeches and other disgusting water creatures brush against you. Pushing through this dank morass, you have to breathe through the snorkel. You are only allowed to raise your head up for an occasional look, to make sure you're headed in the right direction.
Who Goes Bog Snorkeling?You'd be surprised who goes bog snorkeling. It's so popular that a few years ago they had to start digging two trenches to accommodate all the contestants. Swimmers have shown up from as far away as Australia and Hong Kong. You have to be at least 14-years-old but one woman made the swim to celebrate her 70th birthday! Some years, more than 150 contestants have raced. And, if the race itself isn't wacky enough, there's a "costume" component. Sumo wrestlers and men in suits carrying briefcases seem to be popular. Winners get medals and/or cash.
Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling CompetitionThe bike bog snorkeling competition is even wackier. During the mountain bike bog race, competitors peddle a bike, with a lead-filled frame and water-filled tires, on the bottom of a six-foot-deep peat-bog trench. They are wearing goggles and using a snorkel to breath. Then, there's the Bog Snorkeling Triathlon, which includes a run, a 'swim' in a peat-bog trench and a mountain bike ride.
Where Are Bog Snorkeling Events Held?The bog snorkeling events are held on private land near Llanwrtyd Wells in July and August. The World Bog Snorkeling Championships in 2013 is on August 25.
Legend says the Bog Snorkeling Championships, which have been happening for more than 20 years, were the result of too much Welsh Ale imbibed by two locals one evening. Even if you don't want to enter these contests, they are great spectator sports. Llanwrtyd Wells, which may be the tiniest town in Wales, is located in a valley in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains. It's prime terrain for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and fishing.