Friday, 16 January 2004

World class nosework

It has been reported in the papers once again that, as a publicity stunt, someone is attempting to push a peanut across London with his nose. This is commented upon as if nose-pushing small objects along were a newly-invented activity. Not a bit of it: many years ago Beachcomber regularly chronicled all the major contests organised by the Welsh Nasal Pea-Pushing Association.

But clearly the sport is nowadays in decline, when an amateur attempt at an simple urban run with an easily-nudgeable object makes news. Back in the thirties, such giants as Evans the Hearse and "Iron-Nostril" Balzarotti were fighting it out in rugged mountain terrain. Balzarotti's Snowdon record of two hundred and thirteen hours, four minutes and twelve seconds has never been challenged.

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