If you visit Llanwrtyd Wells, you can be guaranteed that it wont be just your average Bank Holiday Weekend in Wales…
The World Bog Snorkelling Championships
After 2 missed years, The World Bog Snorkelling Championship is finally back… (unless of course the SSSI peat bog land on which it takes place is completely drought ridden. I’ve been praying for rain since I updated this post on 14th). Assuming there is water in the peat, then get yourself to the middle of Wales for August Bank Holiday Sunday, and watch or, better still, participate in , the 2022 World Bog Snorkelling Championships.
There are also other events taking place on and around the bog as part of the World Alternative Games. So why not try your hand at Wife Carrying? Or Husband Dragging? What about Hay Bale Tossing? Or Ditch Running? Of Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling?
There’s lots going on all weekend.
And it’s not often I get to say this, but this year, bring a sunhat… and possibly some sunscreen too.
Some of the other Wacky Events run in Llanwrtyd Wells
When you are looking for something to do that’s a little ‘out of the ordinary’ its often an easy first port of call to check out what’s going on in Llanwrtyd Wells. As towns and villages go, my home town/village of Llanwrtyd really knows how to pack a punch on the eccentricity scale. with a calendar of wacky events, August Bank Holiday has to be up there for its superabundance of quirky fun and challenging activities on offer for all the family.
Green Events Ltd have been going since the eighties. They are a collaboration of Llanwrtyd residents and wider community supporters, all working as volunteers to deliver a calendar of events to attract tourists into the town. Some of the most famous are the Man v Horse Marathon, World Bog Snorkelling Championship and the Real Ale Wobble.
Man v Horse
The Man v Horse Marathon (annually in June) has been running for over 40 years and attracts around 1200 participants to the town for its 23 mile multi-terrain straight race pitting horse and rider against man. this year, for only the third time, the fastest person on foot has beaten the fastest horse and rider. Every year lots of runners beat lots of riders over the finish line.
The event annually attracts TV crews and participants from around the world and for the last 4 years has been sponsored by the fabulous Whole Earth Foods who provide a surfeit of peanut butter and high energy treats for the delighted spectators, volunteers and participants as well as being bloody lovely people. It is the largest horse race in Europe if not the world, capping horse entries at 65 (Grand National is 45), although there is usually a waiting list with nearer 100 applying.
Real Ale Wobble
The Real Ale Wobble (annually in November) is at the beginning of our nine-day Mid Wales Beer Festival and basically is a mountain bike ride with the option of beer at the water stops and generally a large consumption of real ales and raucous dancing and laughter at the post event party the evening of the event. It has, at its peak attracted around 750 cyclists, predominantly men and stag groups (I guess that’s the presence of 150 real ales for you).
Anyway, I digress but its events like those that have put Llanwrtyd on the map but its the penultimate event of the August fortnight that really gives Llanwrtyd its name, Home of Bog Snorkelling. The World Bog Snorkelling has been running for 33 years and takes place in LW annually on August Bank Holiday Sunday, preceded by its baby sister events, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling and the Bog Triathlon.
World Alternative Games
Since 2012, when the UK had the Olympics, LW, thanks to the energy and foresight of an enthusiastic group of residents, we have bi-annually run the World Alternative Games. Using the Corinthian ethos of “taking part is more important than winning”, the events (some small and run in the style of a school fete others larger and attracting international competitors) are put on for all age groups and to the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike. Everyone who takes part gets a medal and you really do have the opportunity to become a bronze, silver or gold medalist.
Back to Bog Snorkelling
This event attracts more media attention than any other event we have here. We’ve had media crews and participants from Iran, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, USA, Canada, Australia, England, Ireland and Wales. The day of the event could not have been more wet. There was more water in the air than air!!! The crowd (and yes there was one) was fantastic, fabulous, energetic, loud and enthusiastic. There were 125 participants (that’s a lot, even on a sunny year we’ve only peaked at 135) and a new world record was set.
As ever, presumably because I have the loudest voice in the village, I was invited to commentate the day so out came my alter-ego, Lady Lily Pink and away I did talk. I think I was talking solidly from 9am til 4pm. Hubby always says his fave day of the year is August Bank Holiday Monday, because without a doubt I will have lost my voice by Sunday evening. This year he was disappointed. I’d obviously been in training. My voice , whilst a tad croaky, held out and no silence was had the following day. I can only apologise.
Find out more
Anyway, if you want to know more about any of the events mentioned follow the hyperlinks or search YouTube or Google, there are loads of fantastic bits of video. Meanwhile to save you the bother, here are a few of the pictures I took in 2018 whilst my alter ego, Lady Lily Pink was hanging out and filming with the 5 gorgeous guys from an Italian TV company (poor me, it’s a tough life) and from my day commentating at the bog..
Photo credits – the shit ones are mine the good ones are by Peter Barnett…