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The Skiing Witches of Belalp Hexe

I remember a time when witches flew on brooms. Nowadays they’re flying on the ski-slopes, using their brooms as sticks. What’s the occult world coming to?

Every year, between January 10-16, over 1,500 people from Switzerland and other European countries gather at Belalp, for one of the wackiest downhill skiing races in the world. The Witches Downhill challenge has contestants dress up as witches and race down a snowy mountain.

Races are organized for children and adults alike and between challenges there are fun parties to go to. Witches Night is the biggest, with over 3,000 participants indulging in singing, dancing, drinking and all around partying.

The Belalp Hexe Ski Race began in 1983, inspired by a real witch that apparently lived nearby and terrorized locals. she actually flew around and everything.

Belalp-Hexe-ski-race

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Santa Speedo Run 2009

A bunch of people running in the streets in speedos, or how a small holiday stunt turned into a national phenomenon.

The Boston tradition known as the Santa Speedo Run began on a Saturday, in December of 2000, when 5 friends decided to do something completely crazy to spice up their weekly routine. The best they could come up with was running through Boston wearing nothing but speedos, Santa hats and fake beards. They tried to get another 20 runners involved, but one week later, at race time, it was still just the five of them.

But they kept their courage and went through with what the plan. People shopping on Newburry Street started screaming and cheering while the five naked Santas ran by. And that, in short, is how the Santa Speedo Run was born.

It has come a long way since then, turning into an annual charity event that raises money for various charities, and inspiring similar displays in other American cities. Anyone can enter the Santa Speedo Run as long as they raise the minimum $250 for charity and aren’t afraid to strip down to their speedos at race time.

Photos via Boston.com

Santa-Speedo-Run

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Pantomime Horse Grand National Race

One of Britain’s most bizarre racing events, the annual Pantomime Horse Grand National Race is also one of the most fun.

Designed as a parody of the Grand National horse race held in Antree, the Pantomime Horse Grand National draws in thousands of people to the city center of Birmingham, all eager to watch the competitors and bet on the winner.

Contestants pay a 50 pounds fee to enter the competition and slip into their plush horse costumes for a chance to win the grand prize, a bottle of champagne. I know it’s not much, but it really isn’t about the winnings at all. All the money raised from entrance fees, sponsorships and betting on the sidelines go to the Lord Mayor’s charity funds.

This year, the 7th edition of the Thomas Vale Pantomime Horse Grand National had contestants competing in a grueling 12-jump course. In the men’s race James Bamber and his “horse” Hoof Hearted claimed the no. 1 spot, while in the girl’s challenge Nicki Mills and her Spank The Donkey came first. The funny event raised around 4,000 pounds.

Pantomime-Horse-Grand-National

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The Tough Guy race

Tough Guy is a traditional English challenge, in which the participants have to use every ounce of their energy just to get to the finish line. to give you an idea of how tough this event is, the promoters say that the US S.E.A.L.S. “GrinderAssault Course is the only thing that barely comes close in terms of difficulty.

Photo: A-punkt/Wikimedia Commons