Openreach take on bog snorkelling
It may not have featured in the Olympic Games in Rio, but sport doesn’t come much tougher or muckier than Bog snorkelling.
Wallowing in the muddy waters of a peat bog may not have mass appeal but Openreach’s Daren Haseldine - a keen swimmer - thinks otherwise.
The annual World Bog Snorkelling Championships is held in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales and this year our very own Michael Phelps took on 200 competitors from around the globe and finished a very impressive – if muddy, second overall.
Daren, who works as an operational manager’s assistant, regularly represents South Beds Masters Swimming Club in competitions, including in lakes. But even he found this event challenging.
Competitors, many in fancy dress, wear a snorkel and flippers to swim a 120-yard course in a water-filled trench cut through a peat bog, relying on flipper power alone.
Commenting on his bog snorkeling experience, Daren, said: “I’m a keen swimmer and probably took it a bit too seriously. I was the only one not drinking alcohol.”
“The water is freezing cold and absolutely black. You can’t see a thing. With your head in the water you don’t know where you’re going. People told me I’d probably catch all sorts of illnesses. I tried to keep my mouth closed.
“I completed the course in one minute 31 seconds. For half an hour I headed the leaderboard and was quite excited that, at nearly 50, I might win. But I was beaten into second place by an 18-year-old serious swimmer, Daniel Norman.
“It was great fun. I’m going to train hard for next year’s event and I’m hopeful I can beat this year’s winning time of one minute 26 seconds.”