Countdown to the wife-carrying Olympics! The alternative sports you won't see at London 2012…
23:12 GMT, 18 April 2012
With Olympics tickets few and far between, you might be feeling a little left out. So why not try an ‘alternative’ sport
This year, 10,000 Brits will take part in eccentric events such as worm-charming, nettle-eating, shin-kicking and wife-carrying.
According to a recent T-Mobile survey, 67 events are taking place across 35 counties. More than 12,000 spectators will enjoy the Maldon Mudathon, where 250 competitors dash through 200 yards of waist-deep mud.
Going for gold: Couples take part in a 'wife-carrying' race
Then there’s the World Worm Charming Championships in Cheshire, which saw a record-breaking 144 teams entered last year.
Teams are given half an hour and a small plot of land from which to coax their worms. Staggeringly, the world record stands at 511 worms.
Another event is the Man Versus Horse Marathon in Wales, where men or women on foot race against riders on horseback over 22 miles. Impressively, a solo runner recently won the race and the 25,000 prize money.
Benedict Le Vay, author of Eccentric Britain and compiler of the study, says: ‘Alternative sports are thriving because the British are brilliant at taking very silly things extremely seriously.’