The Northern Ireland Bog Snorkelling Championships is an annual sporting event with a difference. Competitors try to swim two lengths of a water-filled trench cut into a peat bog with the aid of a snorkel, mask and flippers, but without using any conventional– or bog standard – swimming strokes.

Now in its tenth year, the event drew competitors from all over the Emerald Isle to Peatlands Park in County Armagh. Two hardy souls had travelled all the way from North Carolina in the US to brave the cold, muddy water.

There is a serious side to the quirky event. It is held on International Bog Day, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of peatlands. The peatlands that once covered much of Northern Ireland have been greatly reduced; only 12% (167,580 hectares) remain intact.

If you fancy having a go, the Irish Bog Snorkelling Championships will be held from 12 to 14 September in Castleblayney, County Monaghan.

Stephen McDonagh takes part in the Northern Ireland Bog Snorkelling championships
Stephen McDonagh takes part in the Northern Ireland Bog Snorkelling championshipsGetty
Spectators watch as Laura Sherwin swims the 60m length of the bog
Spectators watch as Laura Sherwin swims the 60m length of the bogGetty
A woman swims along the water-filled trench cut into the peat bog
A woman swims along the water-filled trench cut into the peat bogGetty
Patrick Colan-O'Leary and Conor McCarthy jump into the so-called Bog Jacuzzi after their swim
Patrick Colan-O'Leary and Conor McCarthy jump into the so-called Bog Jacuzzi after their swimGetty
A man takes a dip in the Bog Jacuzzi
A man takes a dip in the Bog JacuzziGetty
Gemma Woods tries out the Bog Jacuzzi
Gemma Woods tries out the Bog JacuzziGetty
An entrant is hosed down after competing
An entrant is hosed down after competingGetty
A man looks out from the male changing area after taking part in the Northern Ireland Bog Snorkelling championship
A man looks out from the male changing area after taking part in the Northern Ireland Bog Snorkelling championshipGetty