Looking forward to the World Alternative Games

If this weekend’s glorious sunshine was a reminder of anything, it’s that summer is just around the corner. And if we’re looking forward to anything this summer, it is the return of the World Alternative Games in Llanwrtyd Wells! In order to channel that excitement into something useful, we’ve put together the top 5 events we’re most looking forward to…

World Alternative Games

World Alternative Games

5. Conker championships (15th of August)
Admit it, the days of conker battling in your youth were some of the best you’ve ever had, which is probably why this one of the most popular events of the games. At the start of each game, competitors will be given a new lace and conker (presumably to avoid pre-battle glueing or vinegar soaking) and then each player than takes three strikes on the opponent’s conker. The game is decided when one conker is smashed.

4. Finger jousting (10th of August)
Finger jousting, the latest addition to the World Alternative Games, is a sport where two consenting players square off in an attempt to prod their opponent with their lancing (right) index finger before the opposing player can. Just like the famous medieval pastime, albeit minus the horses and threat of death.

The sport is governed by the World Finger Jousting Federation (yes, it exists), which is very much against performance enhancing drugs and all forms of cheating inside and outside of the arena.

3. Bog snorkelling triathlon (23rd of August)
This is a great event for anyone who thought that a couple of lengths of the bog trench was far too easy to be considered a real challenge. This year, you’ll have to complete a 7 and a half mile run through the hills around Llanwrtyd followed by two lengths of the bog trench, then a gruelling 19 mile mountain bike ride to finish off. You can try and do the whole thing alone or as part of a three-man relay team – either way this is one of the toughest events on the calendar!

2. The Gravy Wrestling championships (21st of August)
There’s no better way to describe it – two contestants enter a ring full of gravy and one emerges as the victor. Bouts last two minutes, are scored on audience applause and various moves, and contestants are encouraged to wear fancy dress. You’ll rack up points for takedowns, escapes and ‘fun factor’, but lose points if you’re too aggressive. Oh, you can’t be drunk, either!

Here’s a video if you wanted a quick look:1. The Man vs Horse marathon (14th of June)
Believe it or not, this hugely popular event actually came as a result of a chat over a pint in the back bar of Neuadd Arms Hotel. The then Landlord, Gordon Green, overheard two men discussing the relative merits of men and horses running over mountainous terrain and naturally decided to put it to the test.

It actually took 25 years before a man beat a horse, and this year will see the introduction of electronic timing so you can be sure there will be no horsing around…

The World Alternative Games is not the only event to look forward to in 2014. Check out our blog on the September walking festival here.