Rad Spotlight: Bob Greenough from Green Events

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Bob Greenough aka ‘Bob from the Bog’ talks us through the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Wales

Oli Russell-Cowan from Rad Season: We’re here with Bob from Green Events at the Rude Health World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwryd Wells in Wales. Thanks for having us here. It’s amazing to be here.

Bob Greenough from Green Events: It was not a problem at all. We welcome anybody here, even yourself. You found us on a very good day today. The sun is shining. The air is clear. You can can’t see a house in the distance. What more do you want out of Bog Snorkelling.

Exactly. And so, this is the 34th year?

The 34th year we’re running, yeah.

And how many years have you been running the event?

I’ve been involved on the committee side of it for the last 10 years. This is the biggest one this year that I’ve seen.

Photo credit: Oli Russell-Cowan

I know you mentioned the Bog Snorkelling World Champion Neil Rutter is back. Did he set any record?

Neil is quite disappointed himself. I think they may be hiding for the moment. He did come back having trained I’m told for most of the year for it to crack his record. Missed it by about four seconds, I believe.

Oh, no. And his mom is competing as well?

I don’t know what she’s done. If she’s beating him, then he is not going to be speaking to anybody.

This is one of the most bonkers events I’ve ever been to. When did it all began? Give me a bit of an insight into the history of it.

I’ll tell you what you got to look at is the fact that we’ve got no money for buildup. What are we going to do? We’re going to find a bit of land if we want something. We also need to bring people into the town to sustain the tourism. The idea was, what can we do?

What have we got? And someone said, “We’ve got a bog.” And also, someone at the back said “Oh, you could try swimming or snorkelling in that.”

And it’s one of the things they do at the pub in the evening. If by the next day, you can’t think of any reason you can’t do it this allows for the fact that you’ve mostly forgotten what you’ve been talking about the night before anyway. That’s what they did. They went ahead and they dug this trench and then for the first year, they had 20 or so people involved in it. And then, why not? Why do I want to go to a swimming pool and do it? We’ve got all these lovely live creatures in our bog. We’ve got fish. We’ve got eels. If I take them to one of your chlorinated swimming pools then they’re going to die. So, mine is healthier than yours. That’s what I am saying.

Photo credit: Oli Russell-Cowan

So good. There’s 20 people that your saying started it off?

I’m estimating 20 it maybe less. Like all things it grows. Some things start and then die but this has built. This is Dave our current coordinator this year. The man in charge, Bog Master Dave this is.

How many people do you estimate being here this year?

Dave: I can tell you. I just came to tell Bob exactly how many people have registered so far. It’s 167. And there was somebody else registering while I was up there checking the numbers, so we’re probably going to exceed 170. We don’t know how many more might turn up as well.

That’s great.

Yeah, that’s higher than normal. Our normal average is 150. So, 167 we’ve well exceeded that already. And there’s more time.

There was 170. I was just telling them 167. So, I’ll just come back…

Photo credit: Oli Russell-Cowan

Next year is the 35th anniversary. Is anything special planned yet?

Bob: We just intended to keep breathing and hope we’re still here for it.

Dave: I’m sure in our discussions which starts as soon as this one’s over, we’ll talk about that as to whether we do anything special or not, whether 35 is a significant number.

Bob: Yeah. I’m not quite sure what Dave is referring too immediately after in the pub.

Dave: We start planning the next event soon after this one’s over. We’ll probably talk about that sort of thing but I think we’ll have better things to talk about in the pub after the event.

Photo credit: Neuadd Arms Hotel

Are there any other events during the year, besides from bog snorkelling that you guys run?

Dave: There are lots of other events. Me, personally, I’m only involved with the bog snorkelling. Although I help on the marshalling capacity for lots of other events, but you deal with a lot.

Bob: I’m involved with virtually all of them. Not quite so closely with the walking events but most of the competitive running and strange events.

What would you say, I guess besides Bog Snorkelling would be one of the other strange events?

One of the strange ones might be one that we’re still developing is the mountain bike chariot racing. That’s in January and that involves a chariot, which you place one of your team and the other person jumps on board their bike.

Everyone’s got to build their own chariot?

No. We provide them. We provide them because they get wrecked quite often. You can’t trust mountain bikers.

Where did you come up with that idea?

In the pub.

Dave: Didn’t it come out of the Roman festival? We have a Roman Festival which involves walks and the chariot racing. And there’s a toga party in the pub afterwards.

Where are they? Are they in this region?

All dotted around. Everything we do is dotted around Llanwrtyd Wells.  The triathlon we had yesterday was running up a mountain in one direction and then into the forest in the other direction. And then the bog. Then we’ve got a half marathon. We’ve got a new ultra-marathon we start next April.

Dave: There’s also the Real Ale Wobble and the Real Ale Ramble. They’re not competitive. But we get a lot of people for the Wobble. The Real Ale Wobble is done on mountain bikes across this sort of terrain and when they get some checkpoints, they drink a beer.

And how long is the race? What was the distance?

It’s not a race but it is 25 or 50 mile. We might start giving the beers at 25.

We have sheep trailers strategically placed out in the hills here with barrels of beer in. We serve that up to them as they come through the check points.

That’s great. Well, thanks a lot for your time guys. Really appreciate it.

Accommodation near Llanwryd Wells, Wales

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Oli Russell-Cowan

The concept for Rad Season came about when I was trekking around Latin America. I found it difficult to find cool events and festivals going on that were a bit different and had an element of adventure and general radness to them. I knew that there was always something rad worth going to somewhere in the world, but there was no single platform bringing them together for like-minded people. With over 15 years experience in international business development, spanning multiple industries including action sports, events, media, digital, ICT, travel and tourism, I decided to combine them all with Rad Season.

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