Mad dogs and

Sorry folks dunno what the prob is/was but this is what I read

Outdoor Events
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The World Nettle Eating Championships
World Nettle Eating Championship
One of Dorset's craziest events took place over the weekend. It may have left many of the competitors with a strange taste in the mouth, but at the end of the night, a new World Nettle Eating champion was crowned.

The nineth annual contest to find the individual capable of scoffing the most stinging nettles took place as part of a charity beer festival at the Bottle Inn in the village of Marshwood near Crewkerne.

Contestants ready to eat their greens
This year the event attracted entries from around the world - as the competition's fame has spread, nettle eaters from as far as New York, Australia, Northern Ireland and Belgium made the trip to West Dorset.

As the huge bunches of stinging nettles arrived, the competitors faced one hour of munching their way through the leaves - the winner was whoever finished with the most two foot stalks, stripped of their leaves.

Not surprisingly, the rules were tight for this level of competitive nettle eating. Only nettles provided could be eaten, competitors couldn't bring their own, no mouth numbing substances were allowed - although a swig of beer in between mouthfuls was encouraged.

As the bemused crowd of hundreds of spectators looked on, the competitors described their unusual bar meal as tasting like anything from "rancid salad with no dressing" to "a mixture of spinach and cow-pat".

World Nettle Eating Photo Gallery >
Ed Brooks - World Nettle Eating Champion >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Crucially, nettles could not be expelled from the body - at one heartbreaking moment, one competitor seemed to have victory in sight, only to see his efforts end up on the ground of the pub car park just minutes from the end of the competition.

Showing the effects of nettle eating!
The eventual winner was Ed Brooks, a regular at the Bottle Inn. He scoffed 48 feet of nettles and was thrilled with winning the title: "Oh it's tremendous, amazing ... I'm a bit peckish though!" Meanwhile Jo Carter from Weymouth and Liz Gray from Bath shared the womens' title - they both ate exactly 26 feet of nettles.

What has turned into one of England's most eccentric weekends, stems back to an argument in the pub in 1986 when two farmers were discussing who had the longest stinging nettles in their field. The longest-nettle competition eventually turned into the World Nettle Eating Championships when one of the farmers, Alex Williams promised to eat any nettle which was longer than his.

Nettle eating winners
2004's champion Simon Sleigh retired undefeated last year and his record of 74 feet (shared with Simon Slater who achieved the same amount in 2000) still stands.

Although competitive nettle eating is something some may not seem very palatable, nettles have been used by many top chefs, nettle tea is widely available and they have long been used as a medicinal herb.
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