The fightas with arthritis geezerama featuring George Foreman and Larry Holmes may have been canceled last week, but there'll be no shortage of strange sports events this year. Next month brings the Shrovetide Pancake Race in Liberal, Kans., an illiberal Feb. 16 competition in which women sprint while wearing aprons and flipping flapjacks on handheld griddles. Then come the U.S. Ski-Joring Finals on March 13 and 14 in Red Lodge, Mont. Ski-Joring is like cross-country skiing except that each skier is pulled by a horse. After a March 19 visit to Virginia Beach, Va., for the Shamrock Sportsfest, with its Irish pasta party and children's marathon, hit Springfield, Mo., for the April 22 Typewriter Toss, in which secretaries heave Olivettis and Selectrics at a bull's-eye from a platform 50 feet high. On July 3, Wetton, England, will host the World Championships of Toe Wrestling, an upside-down version arm wrestling in which contestants lie on their backs, lock big toes and try to pin their foes' feet. On Aug. 30, Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, is the scene of more Union Jacking around, at the World Bog Snorkeling Championships. Boggymen including 1997 champ Pete (Peat) Beaumont will don flippers and try to snorkel 120 yards through thick muck in less time than Beaumont's record 1:44, a clip of nearly 2.4 mph.
More fastidious racers can head to Nome, Alaska, for the Sept. 6 Great Bathtub Race, the Indy 500 of porcelain pushers. Competitors roll wheeled tubs brimming with bathers and bubble baths while carrying soap, towels and bath mats. The following week in Stanley, Idaho, golfers will face hazards including heifers and cow pies in the Sawtooth Cow Pasture Open.
New Year's Eve '99? There's not much on tap but a few Bowl games. If they're still around, maybe George and Larry can square off in Times Square. Call that bout Really Auld Lang Syne.