Wife Carrying

While I love what I do (and you know I do) weddings are quite tiring and by the end of the evening, I’m usually pretty sore and dragging.  After one wedding my lovely husband had to actually carry me because I just couldn’t walk anymore (although to be fair, I had twisted my ankle earlier in the day and was in some serious pain at the end of the night).  Having a husband to carry you when you need help is a great thing, but how about carrying you for a cash and beer prize?  Today Sunday River Resort in Maine is holding the annual North American Wife Carrying Championships.  What did you say?!  Yes, that’s what I thought too when I heard about it.

The race (in it’s 15th year) has husband-and-wife teams racing with the husband carrying the wife through a 278-yard obstacle course featuring log hurdles, sand traps, and the “widow maker” water hazard.  Apparently this race is based on the 19th-century Finnish legend “Ronkainen the Robber” who had high qualifications for the men he accepted into his band. To prove their worth, men had to compete through a difficult course with a heavy sack (or woman grabbed from neighboring villages) on their back.  How funny and strange is that?!  But, it gets better, this not just some weird American event, but an international event with races held in Finland, Australia, Sweden and Estonia.  The winning couple of the race takes home the wife’s weight in beer, five times her weight in cash, and an entry into the World Championship.

Man carrying his wife in the North American Wife Carrying Championships.

Astonished?  I was, but it’s also really kinda fun.  But, to really get the full picture you have to watch the video on the race’s website here, it’s a hoot.  I’m convinced that they have to practice because having the blood rush to your head and bouncing around like that does not sound fun or something for amateurs (I actually tried it with my husband for about 10 seconds and had to come down).  So, the next time your husband carries you for a special occasion or just to get you up to bed, just think that you could be a champion too.

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