Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Ulster hosts bog snorkelling showdown

Northern Ireland Bog Snorkling Championships at Peatlands Park in Co Armagh

With flippers and snorkels at the ready, competitors from across Northern Ireland descended on Dungannon to get down and dirty at the sixth annual Bog Snorkelling Championships.



Bog snorkelling is a sporting event that consists of swimmers completing two lengths of a 60-yard water-filled drain cut through a peat bog, in the shortest time possible.

Competitors must wear snorkels and flippers, and complete the course without using any conventional swimming strokes. Wet suits are not compulsory, but are usually worn.

The mud at Peatlands Park in Dungannon, was in perfect condition yesterday as dozens of brave souls took to the water.

The competition was founded by park warden Colin Gates as a fun way to raise awareness about bog lands and their unique beauty and biodiversity.

It coincides with International Bog Day in Dungannon and attempts to highlight the threat to peat bogs — 96% of which have been destroyed since 1945.

The World Bog Snorkelling Championship, first held in 1985, takes place each August Bank Holiday in Llanwrtyd Wells in mid-Wales.

Northern Ireland’s Conor Murphy is the current men's World Champion with a record time of 1:25.87 seconds.

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