weird world of sport

Lland of lle­gends

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

I WOULD like to talk if I may about a lit­tle town called Llan­wr­tyd, Powys, it is sit­u­ated pretty much smack bang in the mid­dle of Wales. It is a town that ex­ists be­cause it is listed as an eisteddfod site, has a mill and some heal­ing wa­ters that were turned into a spa.

Some­thing in those wa­ters must have done some­thing to the 602 peo­ple that live there be­cause bog­ger me, in 1976 they gave birth to the mother of all weird sports, Bog Snorkelling.

Con­tes­tants have to slip and slide and “pluck” them­selves from the mud and make their way 60 yards down a some­times stink­ing peat and wa­ter filled bog us­ing non-tra­di­tional swim­ming strokes – the first one who drowns wins – no, that’s not right! The one who wins gets to use the clean shower.

The an­nual event now at­tracts more than 200 com­peti­tors from around the world.

Then in 1980 a pub­li­can over­heard a dis­cus­sion in his tav­ern and the sub­ject was whether or not a man trav­el­ling cross- coun­try was the equal of a horse. The land­lord Gor­don Green de­cided the mer­its of this dis­cus­sion must be proved and promptly or­gan­ised the first man ver­sus horse race and it’s been an un­bri­dled suc­cess – for the horse, the man has yet to leave the pub!

Now the Llan­wr­ty­di­ans, not con­tent with be­ing re­spon­si­ble for two of the finest sport­ing tra­di­tions this world has, have cre­ated the World Al­ter­na­tive Games. The open­ing cer­e­mony was held on Au­gust 17 and it con­cluded two weeks later on Septem­ber 2 with all Llan­wr­ty­di­ans singing its praises – but then they would wouldn’t they!

They hosted well over 30 events in this manic two-week pe­riod in­clud­ing some of the fol­low­ing which are pure gold: Moun­tain bike chariot rid­ing Moun­tain board­ing Worm charm­ing Pea shoot­ing (us­ing live peas) Rus­sian egg roulette Fin­ger joust­ing Pooh stick races Wife car­ry­ing Penny far­thing rac­ing Scooter slalom Stil­leto rac­ing Of­fice chair rac­ing Gravy wrestling You get the idea, but on a fi­nal note they have taken their very own bog snorkelling and cre­ated a big­ger mon­ster – moun­tain bike bog snorkelling – it’s bloody ge­nius.

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