:: I am World Championship Bog Snorkeller

Sunday gone I realised my dream to compete in a World Championships. Admittedly the World Bog Snorkelling Championships which make up part of the inaugural World Alternative Games might not be the pinnacle of sporting excellence. My entry into the Games was a moment of madness earlier on in the year and I’ll be honest I had doubts along the way as to whether I actually had it in me to compete with a robust field nearing 200 competitors from all corners of the globe.

Nerves soon began to jangle as I donned my snorkel and dipped my frame into the murky bog ready to compete. It soon became apparent that a strong will and dreams of becoming World Champion would not be enough and my lack of any training was to be my downfall. Failing to prepare really is preparing to fail! Frantic flippers soon gave way to lactic legs and languishing lungs as I reached the end of the first length with a steamy snorkel adding to the claustrophobia. Determination didn’t desert me though and I finally touched home to complete the course. My time was soon to be eclipsed by a fancy dress sheep and gladiator amongst others and I’ll admit to feeling a little dejected as a new World Record was then subsequently posted, that was until I saw the smiles on my boys faces as I placed my two shiny new medals over their heads. “Daddy you got a gold medal” they beamed.

This one wasn’t really about me and there was some method to my madness, both my boys have been hit with nerves of their own as they have raced their own races at School Sports Day and I guess I was trying to lead by example, albeit in a bog in Mid Wales. Being a father is a continual learning curve, but as with everything in life, actions speak so much louder than words and hopefully in my own unique way I have shown them that races sometimes have to be run if they can’t always won. They need not be judged by the finishing position, rather by the satisfaction that they took part and achieved their personal best.

A post race paddle in a coracle and bounce around to warm down finished off a family day as I reflected on what might have been. Hey ho there is always next year!

I am World Championship Bog Snorkeller and even have the medal to prove it 🙂

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