This guest article was written by Door2Tour, a UK based coach holiday firm. For more information on coach tours to the UK, Europe and beyond see the Door2Tour.com website.
With the Olympics racing away and with hundreds of athletes preparing to fight for medals in various sports from cycling road races to the 10 metre dive, we’ve been getting in the sporting spirit. If you’re a bit bored of the standard sports and looking for some adventure we take a look at a few different sports and sporting occasions that didn’t make it into London 2012…
The first World Bog Snorkelling Championship was held in 1985. The event is held along the dense Waen Rhydd Peat bog near Llanwrtyd Wells, in Powys, Wales. Contestants must complete two lengths of a 55 metre bog trench using anything but conventional swimming strokes. Snorkels and flippers are compulsory.
Starting in Derbyshire, in 1976, The World Toe Wrestling Championship is definitely not just a childhood game. Competitors face each other toe-to-toe with their shoes off across the ‘toedium’, where they interlock their big toes and try to force each other off the ‘toedium’. The organisers even applied for its inclusion in the Olympic Games in 1997, however surprisingly it was not accepted!
Since 1965 the North Yorkshire Town of Knaresborough have been holding the annual Knaresborough Bed Race. Each team provides their own bed with four wheels, decorated according to the theme for the year. It is a 3 kilometre race beginning and ending at Conyngham Hall. Halfway through the run, the teams of six face a one-in-five gradient climb to Castle Top thencontinue back down the hill to cross a river to reach the finish.
The name pretty much explains the sport; joggling is a combination of jogging and juggling. The first World Joggling Championships were held in North Dakota in 1980 and are now held annually at the International Jugglers’ Association juggling festival. Competitors must maintain a juggling pattern whilst running, and if an object is dropped, the joggler must return and continue from the point where the object fell. The current format includes races from 100 metres to 5 kilometres, and even relays.
This event gets its name from the way that participants look like goannas, Australian lizards, when taking part in this competition. Two people face each other with a heavy leather strap joining them around their necks, then they pull each other similar to tug-of-war. The 26th annual National Goanna Pulling Championship will be held in Wooli, NSW, Australia. Weight divisions for the event include Men’s Heavyweight (95kg and over), Men’s Middleweight (82kg to 95kg), Men’s Lightweight (63kg to 82kg), Tyro (under 63kg), Ladies (over 70kg) and Ladies (under 70kg).
Originating in Finland, wife carrying involves male competitors racing while carrying a female teammate. The aim is to get through the 253.5 metre obstacle course in the fastest time. There are two dry obstacles and one water obstacle, which is around a metre deep. Wife carrying competitions are held in Sonkajarvi, Finland, Monona, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Running of the Bulls
This definitely isn’t one for the faint-hearted. This much more well-known event was said to have begun in North-eastern Spain during the early 14th century, and now takes place every year in Pamplona, Spain. Participants wear a pair of running shoes, white cotton trousers, a shirt and a red bandana and sash to attract the bulls attention. The bulls are let loose and chase them for 826 metres through the streets of Pamplona to finish in a bullring. Since records began in 1924, 15 people have been killed!
The World Gurning contest begun in 1297 at the Egremont Crab Fair in the UK. Gurning is a name for pulling a face, and the event involves face pulling competitions to see who can make the ugliest face whilst wearing a horse collar. England’s best-known gurner is Peter Jackman, who won the world championship four times from 1998.