For sports enthusiasts looking for new thrills, here are a few options offering something altogether different, from competitive bog snorkeling to horse surfing to marathon running fueled on wine and oysters.
This sport involves donning a snorkeling mask and swimming through thick, brown, peat-filled bogs powered solely by flippers. The World Bog Snorkeling Championships take place every August in Wales. Other bog snorkeling events take place in Australia, Ireland, and Sweden. Also, true diehards can try a bog snorkeling triathlon event, which also involves running and mountain biking.
Sure, kitesurfing is all the rage, but what about horse surfing? Invented in 2005 by British trick riders, the sport involves traveling across waves at speeds of up to 55km an hour while being attached to a galloping horse. Where to try: the sport has been adopted around the globe but reported hotspots include parts of France and Australia.
Mountain bike chariot racing
On May 26, team racers will compete in the mountain bike chariot world championships in the hilly Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells. Chariots are built using traditional Roman mild steel and vulcanized rubber and designed to be pulled by two mountain bikes alongside each other.
Wine-fueled marathon running
At the Marathon du Medoc in Pauillac, France, runners race through nearly 60 vineyards in the Medoc region all while drinking wine along the way at 21 stations. Also on the menu: rather than raisins and bananas, you'll find oysters and ice cream, which probably won't do much for your finishing time but a good time is likely guaranteed.
Man versus horse marathon
This epic race also held in Llaywrtd Wells involves pitting man against horse in a 22-mile course. Racing over farm tracks and hillyfoot paths, horses usually win, with the exception of two men in the race's more than 25-year history.