- Sports and Recreation
Weird sports around the world
The bizarre sport of bog snorkelling started 1976 in Wales, UK. Villagers had the idea while drinking at a pub in the small village of Llanwrtyd Wells. The World Bog Snorkelling Championships now take place every August and attract more than 200 entrants in the different men, women and junior categories. Competitors jump into a thick and muddy peat bog - basically a very muddy pond - in the cold mountains wearing a wet suit with flippers and a snorkel. The winner is the person who swims two lengths of a 55m trench without using conventional strokes - only flapping their feet - the fastest. Proceeds are given to charity.
The bathtub racing capital of the world is in Nanaimo, a coastal city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The fast-paced sport started in the 1960s when a local fisherman fitted a motor to a dirty old bathtub and raced his bathtub against friends. Incredibly, bathtub racing has grown into a highly competitive international sport where entrants spend upwards of $10,000 on building light-weight fibre glass vessels. However, the high-speed boats with roaring engines are still moulded around a traditional bathtub design. The annual race is held in Nanaimo harbour every July and attracts racers from as far away as Australia.
Man Vs Horse Marathon
The man versus horse marathon is another crazy sport that originates from the village of Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales. Once again it was dreamed up by locals during a heated pub discussion on the merits of humans and horses. They decided the only way to find out which creature was best was by pitting them against each other in a marathon. And so every June more than 500 runners compete against 40 horses over a 22-mile course for a £25,000 ($40,000) prize fund. Horses have won every year since the race started in 1980 apart from in 2004 when athlete Huw Lobb made history by becoming the only human to ever beat a horse in the race after coming in with a time of two hours, five minutes and 19 seconds.
The peculiar sport of wife carrying has roots in local tradition in Finland when men courted women by carrying them from their villages across their backs. This was re-invented as a sport and annual event in Sonkajärvi in 1997. The male carries his female partner across a 253.5 metre obstacle course in either a piggyback, fireman's lift across the shoulder or Estonian-style - the wife hanging upside down on the mans back with her legs wrapped around his neck. The sport has spread and the North American Wife Carrying Championships are staged in Newry, Maine each October. However, the biggest race is at the Finnish World Championship where winners are given the female's weight in beer.
You guessed it, Tuna Throwing was invented where else but Austalia. The motion is very similar to the Olympic and athletics field sport of hammer throwing - only the ball and chain are replaced by a Tuna fish with a rope tied to its tale and weighining up to 10Kg. The competition has become a local festival that is watched by hundreds of people each year on January 26 and 27. The current tuna-throwing record is held by former Olympic hammer thrower Sean Calin who tossed a Tuna 37.23 metres. However, replica Tuna designed by an artist were introduced in 2008 to avoid wasting good fish. Winners of the event take home $1,000.