weird world of sport
Lland of llegends
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.