Bog snorkellers put on show at World Alternative Games

Chris Lyness, dressed as King Neptune, takes part in the 31st World Bog Snorkelling Championships at Waen Rhydd peat bog. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Chris Lyness, dressed as King Neptune, takes part in the 31st World Bog Snorkelling Championships at Waen Rhydd peat bog. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

It might not be everyone’s idea of a fun way to spend a Sunday morning, but there was no shortage of enthusiasm from competitors at today’s World Bog Snorkelling Championship.

Competitors dressed as a mermaid and King Neptune happily plunged into the murky waters as they prepared to swim the length of the 120-yard course.

Since it was first held in 1986 to raise funds for a new community centre in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells, the championship has attracted global media attention.

So popular is the event that in 2012 the town decided to hold its first World Alternative Games, bringing together a two-week programme ranging from worm charming and gravy wrestling, to snail racing and beer mat tossing.

More than 2,000 people took part in 35 events that year, and it continues to draw crowds from around the world.

Yesterday’s programme included husband dragging, wife carrying and the ditch race – but the highlight of the games undoubtedly remains the bog snorkelling, which took place at Waen Rhydd bog.

A woman dressed as a mermaid takes part in the 30th championship. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A woman dressed as a mermaid takes part in the 30th championship. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Games come to an end tomorrow with the single boat tug of war and quadrathlon, before a closing ceremony.