The littlest town in Britain is home to every sport you've never heard of.
After years of running bog snorkeling and mountain bike events separately, it seemed only natural for Green to consolidate. In 1998, he had another ditch dug—this one 15 yards long and six-feet deep—and waited for bog bikers to arrive.
The rules for this year's just-completed mountain bike bog-snorkeling championship: Don snorkel, mount cycle, pedal into bog, turn at white pole at end, return to starting line. The tires of a bog bike are filled with water, and the frame is stuffed with lead shot. "For bouyancy," Green more or less explains.
The ladies' world title was won by Irish biology teacher Julia Galvin, who looped the rancid rut in two minutes and 36 seconds—an achievement not to be sniffed at. The ever-game Galvin—a week earlier she had finished dead-last in the 2004 World Wife-Carrying Championship in Finland—will return to trench warfare on Aug. 30 when she vies for the bog-snorkeling title. No doubt she'll once again be accused of being a ringer—Galvin is, after all, from Kerry, a county with its own bog ponies and bog village museum. "Really, it's just like being from Eritrea or Kenya in running," she sighs. "Nobody complains about their natural advantage."
Franz Lidz is the author of the memoirs Unstrung Heroes and Fairway To Hell and the urban history Ghosty Men: The Strange But True Story of the Collyer Brothers.
Illustration by Keith Seidel.