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The great Bog Snorkeling championship!

Bog snorkelling

Written by Supernova

Jan 14, 2021

Every year, in a small town in Wales. Hundreds of people gather to participate in one of the strangest sports… Bog snorkeling.

When you think of a swimming race, you picture an Olympic-sized pool filled with clear blue water. This is not the case in bog snorkeling. Just imagine standing in a cold, wet peat bog in a diving suit, goggles, snorkels and flippers. You climb into a dug out trench filled with cold, muddy water and swim two lengths. The water is so dirty that there is zero visibility, and it’s so cold that your muscles start to ache and cramp!

Does this sound like it could fun?

For bog snorkelers, this is the most fun a person can have!

Man swimming in the Bog snorkelling competition
A man taking part in the World Bog Snorkeling Championship.

Did you know?

Bog snorkeling is an event where competitors need to complete two consecutive lengths of a water-filled trench that has been cut through a peat bog. Snorkels and flippers are mandatory. The swimmer with the fastest time wins! There are competitions in mens’, ladies’ and junior categories, which attract up to 150 entrants every year.

A girl in her bog snorkelling costume

Where does the competition take place?

Britain’s smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales is home to the contest which takes place in the Waen Rhydd peat bog. Bog snorkeling is held every August. Contestants have to brave the freezing, murky waters for 133m in order to compete for the Green Frog Trophy. Kirsty Johnson from England holds the current world record of a whopping 1 minute 22 seconds, set in 2014.

A boy swimming in the bog snorkelling competition

The event is 35 years old and started as a charity fundraising event. It has become so popular that people all over the world gather to compete in it. In 2015, the bog snorkelers included participants from France, Holland, Poland, Sweden, Eire, Czech Republic, Australia, Japan, USA, and Canada, making this a truly international world championship.

A photograph taken of a man bog snorkelling

What makes it fun?

People from all over the world put on crazy costumes and cheer each other on with a sense of support and good humour. The event even hosts a fancy dress contest. The winners of last year’s contest were Anne Marie Beresford-Webb and Eva Walters, who competed together as a pantomime unicorn! Even some of the contestants swim in ridiculous outfits. The whole day is painted with an air of fun and silliness. It has become a great family day out with food, drink and even a jumping castle! Lonely Planet has described this event as one of the 50 “must do” things around the world in 2014.This year, the 31st annual Bog Snorkeling Championships will be held on Sunday 28. August.

A group of people in their bog snorkelling costumes.

On second thoughts…

The Bog Snorkeling Championships does sound like enormous fun!

Photos: Rutger Geerling, Visit Britain Britain’s smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales is home to the contest which takes place in the Waen Rhydd peat bog. Bog snorkeling is held every August. Contestants have to brave the freezing, murky waters for 133m in order to compete for the Green Frog Trophy. Kirsty Johnson from England holds the current world record of a whopping 1 minute 22 seconds, set in 2014.


We hope you enjoyed learning about the weird, yet fantastic world of bog snorkeling.

Supernova issue 3.4 cover image featuring an illustration of a husky

This article first appeared in Supernova Volume 5.5
Words by Laura Baruffa
Illustrations by Shane Stone

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