North American Wife Carrying Championship
Last year's event drew over 2,000 spectators who lined the course to watch teams compete for the grand price of the wife's weight in Bud Light beer plus cash. In the closest finish ever the winning team took first place by less than one stride ahead of the second place finisher. See our press releases for complete details and standings, and for a visual recap of the event see our Fall Festival Weekend slideshow.
About the Event
Teams are comprised of a male and female competitor, however the female does not need to be the legal wife of the male. Teams also have the option to have the male carried by the female if they so choose. Please note that this season, both team member must be 21 years of age or older.
Carrying methods often include the piggy back or firemen's carry, but teams are encouraged to create their own style. Experienced teams and all winners to date employ the highly-technical Estonian carry, which has the woman upside down with arms wrapped around the man's waist and her legs draped over his shoulders. This frees the man's arms for balance and negotiating the obstacles. The team will have a penalty added to their finish time if the "wife" is dropped.
The 278-yard course is built on the lower slopes of Sunday River Ski Resort. The course begins with an uphill run on a dirt road and continues through a field, a 10-meter long waist-deep water obstacle, and then downhill and over two 39-inch high log hurdles. The course is relatively flat with sections of soft sand and grass, and one hairpin turn. The winners will recieve the wife's weight in beer and the wife's weight times 5 in cash.
The origin of the competition is based in Finnish history. A notorious 19th century character, Rankainen the Robber, imposed strong physical standards on men he considered for his band. To qualify, the men had to complete a difficult course with a heavy sack on their backs. It was also not uncommon for men to steal women from neighboring villages. The concept is a little archaic - but the modernized wife carrying event is all in fun, and in reality, is a true test of physical strength and agility.
Bak kata pepatah Melayu -- sayang isteri dukunglah selalu, bukannya bagi makan dokong (he he, ada ke pepatah ni?.. marah DBP)