If you like being cold, wet, muddy and vastly unusual, then this is the sport for you.
Bog snorkelling is one of those sports that will never make the Olympics, but participating in it will make you an interesting person. Probably.
Started in Ireland by the owner of Alice’s Loft & Cottages in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Declan Connolly looked around saw a lot of bogs and wondered what on earth he was going to do with them. Then he realised bog snorkelling was the only way forward. He hoped that by introducing the sport, he would attract local people and tourists to his home county. However, the Modus operandi is to raise money for a local hospital, which they have been doing successfully over the last couple of years.
So does getting all gross and boggy take your fancy? If so there are three events you can take part in: Fastest Male, Fastest Female, and the Fastest Relay Team. There aren’t many rules, except for the fact that you have to be the fastest person to get from one side of the 60-metre bog to the other. And you can use flipper power, but not conventional swimming strokes. And you must breathe through your snorkel at all times. Anyway you won’t want to take your snorkel out of your mouth lest the danger of swallowing a water-skimming bog spider overcomes you.
Wet suits are not compulsory, but are usually worn. In fact it is a vastly good idea if you want to keep all that bog water off you and you want to be free of the kind of cold that makes you unable to have children.
Says Declan Connolly, “We have hundreds of Bogs in this country so we believe that Ireland should be the world champions at this event, but first things first let’s get a National Champion!”
Do you feel like you want to compete? Here are the times to beat.
Roll of honour 2017
Niall Merrick 1.24
Fiona Dolan 1.32
Oisin lynch .44sec
Mireia Botey .52secs
Local man Niall Merrick pipped his brother Ronan to lift the title for 2017 with Blayney Academy committee member Fiona Dolan lifting the ladies title.
Blayney Academy juvenile Oisin Lynch took the lads title while Mireia Botey all the way from Barcelona took the juveniles ladies spot.
Roll on 2018 for the10th Championships.
For a video of how dirty you will be, take a look at this.
To follow the event, click here.