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Bog snorkelling postman from Cheddar is a world champion at his first attempt

13 Sep 2017, 14:24

http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/some ... rld-465728

Somerset postman is celebrating after becoming a world bog snorkelling champion at his first attempt.

But why would anyone submerge themselves in a smelly bog?

"I saw it on the TV once and thought it looks great," said Ian Maclachlan, a 51-year-old fitness fanatic from Cheddar.

"I suppose that tells you something about me!"

A former professional hockey player, Mr Maclachlan works as a postman by day and a hockey coach by night in Burnham.

He finally got his chance to dive into a bog last month, when he went to the Llanwrtyd Wells in Powys, mid Wales, home to the World Bog Snorkelling Championships.


In 2014, Lonely Planet described the event as one of the top 50 things to do in the world.

"It was the 32nd world championships and there were hundreds of participants from around the globe - as well as hundreds of spectators to witness the madness," said Mr Maclachlan.

He's currently entering his final year of studies towards a BSc Sport Science (Hons) at The Open University - but he told Somerset Live this event probably won't count towards his degree.

The event takes place at Waen Rhydd bog which is on the outskirts of the town.

Competitors must travel two lengths of a 60 yard bog, with the use of flippers, in the fastest time possible.


A snorkel and goggles are compulsory, but no conventional swimming strokes are allowed.

Mr Maclachlan added: "So, the standard approach is to swim a sort of a doggy paddle with the arms, whilst kicking furiously with the legs, and of course to look up once in a while to ensure that you don't swim into the banks of the bog."

With a water temperature of just 12-14 degrees, this is not for the faint-hearted.

"It's quite a shock to the system, especially near the half way mark, when fatigue sets in," he added.


The rookie bog snorkeller clocked a time of one minute 49 seconds - not fast enough to beat last years over 50s winner - that was one minute 47 seconds, but it was enough to take the crown for 2017.

"I swim, run, and cycle regularly, in addition to lots of exercise in my job, and so I thought I had a chance of doing well," said the new over 50s champ.


He says he had a brilliant day - and if bog snorkelling isn't your thing there's also the chance to take part in the World Wife Carrying Championships on the same day.


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