Llanwrtyd Wells is a small town and community in the middle of Powys, Wales, in the historic county of Brecknockshire on Afon Irfon. The town is located on A483 between Llandovery and Builth Wells and is located near the pass between the Tywi and Irfon valleys. This is the smallest town in the UK.
But here every year the World Bog Snorkelling Championships take place. Participants must complete two laps in a small mud-filled trench approximately 55 meters long in the shortest time possible.
Candidates are asked to use a snorkel, mask and propeller to perform diving movements, pushing themselves with their feet along the muddy canal. In particular, they are not allowed to perform swimming movements. The test should be performed using a diving technique with a propeller.
Legend has it that this contest was born from a bet among patrons of a pub in Llanwrtyd Wells in 1976. The town’s sport has grown into an annual competition of world stature, attracting hundreds of swimmers from all over. All are trying to break records. The first Mud Diving World Championship was held in the Waen Rhydd quagmire in 1985.
The world record for men’s mud diving was set by Neil Rutter in 2018, with a time of 1 minute 18.82 seconds, the world record for women of 1 minute 22.56 seconds, achieved by Kirsty Johnson in 2014. Both records were recorded in the quagmire of Waen Rhydd, Llanwrtyd Wells.
Many contestants come to the show with stylish outfits, and the competition even awards the person with the best outfit.
The event is also meant to raise awareness about the importance of the environment to wetlands, home to countless wildlife.
The event usually takes place in the Waen Rhydd quagmire on the outskirts of the town of Llanwrtyd Wells. From town, those who are not afraid to walk can take a sightseeing trip of about 1.6 km to the venue. Or you can travel by bus with round trip routes from the town square to the marshes throughout the day, starting at 9am.
“An exciting festive atmosphere with food stalls, beer, cider, crafts and even a fun castle on the grounds of the contest,” shared one visitor. .
Registration closes 7 days before the event, although sports enthusiasts can head over to the event live and register. The participation fee is 15 pounds (about 450,000 dong) for people over 16 years old and 12 pounds (over 370,000 dong) for children from 14 to 15 years old.