Cafe owner takes the plunge with a bog snorkelling charity challenge
A CAFE owner is taking on the bizarre challenge of bog snorkelling in a bid to raise money for charity.
Elwyn Abarthur, 30, who runs Atlas Cafe in Cannon Street, Bedminster, will compete in the bog snorkelling on August 25 in the tiny village of Llanwrtyd Wells in Powys, Wales.
The village has staged bog snorkelling since 1976 with the World Bog Snorkelling Championships introduced in 1985.
Competitors must complete two consecutive lengths (120 yards) of a water filled trench cut through a peat bog, in the shortest time possible wearing snorkels and flippers.
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The unusual competition has gone from strength to strength and last year more than 100 competitors – many who turn up wearing fancy dress – took part.
Andrew Holmes, from Halifax in West Yorkshire, set a new world record for the event in 2011, taking less than 90 seconds to complete two lengths of the trench.
But Mr Abarthur, who is raising money for St Peter's Hospice, said he will not be looking to threaten Mr Holmes' impressive achievement.
"I'm not in any shape to go for a world record," Mr Abarthur told the Post.
"Each year I try and do something new and when I saw this I thought it was a good opportunity to do something for charity and have a bit of fun as well.
"I shall be going as Atlas, the Greek titan wearing a toga and gold spray paint, because that is the name of the cafe.
"I am also going to try and attach small flags from St Peter's Hospice as well.
"I think if you are aiming to win it you need to train. I have been in the pool a few times but I'm just concentrating on finishing to be honest.
"I'm pretty sure you can stand up in it so I'm not worried about drowning, I just think it will be very cold, although that will hopefully mean there are no rats in there.
"I think wearing a toga will slow me down anyway. It a weekend away and should be good fun.
"Most of my friends think I am mad and hadn't even heard of bog snorkelling.
"My girlfriend thinks I'm mad as well but I have managed to convince her to come along and we will spend the weekend camping.
"Hopefully my friends and customers will continue giving generously and then next year I can look at doing something even bigger."
If you would like to donate towards the cause drop into the cafe where Mr Abarthur has placed collection boxes.