Friday, January 29, 2010

The Wife-Carrying Championship

(Note, please click on the Wife-carrying Championship links AFTER you have read the post.)

Every October (Columbus Day Weekend, to be exact) in the small town of Newry, Maine there's an event held called the Wife-Carrying Championship. This competition involves couples traversing an obstacle course, one carrying the other, in the fastest time. I say one carrying the other, because even though it is called the Wife-Carrying Championship, the husband may carry the wife, or the wife may carry the husband; each couple has the choice.

The course is 278 yards and includes an uphill run, a ten meter knee-to-waist-deep water obstacle, (the depth of the water depends on how wet or dry the summer has been), two 39-inch high log hurdles, and a sand course. The race is held on the lower slopes of Sunday River Ski Area, and there are usually 2000 or more spectators, and as many as 50 couples competing.


Couples must consist of one male and one female.
Couples do not have to be married.
There is a time penalty for wife-dropping.


Competitors are encouraged to be creative. The only stipulation is that the person being carried must not touch the ground. (as mentioned above, there is a penalty for dropping the passenger.)

The 3 most common carries are

The fireman's carry (draped over one shoulder)

The piggyback carry(on the carriers back with arms wrapped about carriers neck and legs wrapped around carriers waist)

The Estonian carry ( passenger is upside down on the carrier's back with legs locked around carrier's neck, and arms wrapped around carrier's waist. This is the method most often used by winners.)
Note:  It is important that during the Estionian carry that the passenger be in the back rather than in the front, for fear of disqualification under Section 69.


The winner gets the wife's weight in beer, plus 5 times the wife's weight in cash.
In the past, additional prizes have been awarded for best costumes, and most entertaining couple.

The video below shows an excerpt from a previous competition, to give you the flavor of the event.

I'm telling you about this well in advance of October to allow plenty of time for any of you who might be interested to start training in preparation to compete, and also to allow time for you to register and make lodging arrangements if you are coming from a distance. In the past, there have been competitors from as far away as Canada and California.

Winners of the Competition are eligible to compete in the World Wife Carrying Championships held annually in Finland.

Hubby and I are considering entering this year, because being both retired, we could use some extra income, and at my weight, the prize would be a small fortune--plus he would have enough beer to keep him tipsy for a year!

We haven't yet worked out which of us would carry and which would be the passenger; his knees are bad, which would make carrying a challenge for him. On the other hand, he's so much taller than I am, that if I carry and we used the most efficient Estonian method, there is some danger that his head could be bumping on the ground, or at the very least underwater when we wade through the water obstacle. These are wrinkles that we have to work through. No one said this would be easy!


Tam said...

Seriously funny! I've only skied in Sunday River - had no idea there were way more fun activities going on up there!

My name is PJ. said...

Neither Stu nor I could pick each other up at this point. DARN!!!

You do find the most interesting, funny things, Miss Eva!

singedwingangel said...

OK my hubby could pack me, not vice versa, but only cause he lifts 3-400 lb cabinets very day. He figured up one day on average , a slow day he moves and loads a little over 2 tons of cabinets and walks over 5 miles..

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

This was sooooo funny! OMG! You guys have to enter; I want to see the footage.

PS - Re the problem with you carrying him and his head bumping on the ground: perhaps he could stick his head ...........

Oops! Sorry!

glnroz said...

that looks too much like work.. lol

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Wow, I'd really love the experience of staring at my husband's ass for several yards with my head bouncing above muddy water below. Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon doing something like this? :-P Geez, I guess there is a contest and competition for ANYTHING. When you hear of one that just allows me to sit and crack jokes over some beers, let me know. That is more my style....

DJan said...

This is seriously funny, indeed! There must be a contest for everything, but I'm heading back to look at the video, it must be hilarious. No thanks, though, I'll just watch...

Steven Anthony said...

Im no longer married, but this is the funniest contest evr, lol

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Haha, thank you for that fabulous visual! Maybe contestants could make things easier by attaching a hot air balloon to the wife and it could bear her weight while she perched on hubby's shoulders, leaving him free to sprint.

Gosh, I think of all the best methods. I don't know WHY I'm not Stephen Hawking or something, my grasp of physics is that good. :)

Kristina P. said...

Sign me up!

Eva Gallant said...

Tam: It is pretty funny!

PJ: You don't really think Hubby and I could pick each other up, do you?

Singed: There you go--cash and beer up for grabs!

Sandy: You are the funny one! lol

Glen: Aww, come on!

Mandy: I think that's called "Amateur Night at the Comedy Club!

DJan: Where's you sense of adventure?? lol

Steven: You did read the rules! You don't have to be married; you just have to find a girl who's willing to be picked up! lol

Veg; You're welcome. I don't think extra paraphenalia is allowed, though.

Kristina! You go, girl!

Blackberry Jam Cafe said...

Seriously funny - I love stopping in here! I'm going back to watch it again! Thanks for the laugh!!!!

The Retired One said...

This cracked me up...especially because I am of Finnish descent....

becky at abbeystyle said...

Hahahaha, hilarious, the pictures you create in our heads!

lakeviewer said...

I can't stop laughing! How fun. How silly. How delightful to rush out to Finland for this event.

Joanna Jenkins said...

This is one wife that will never enter that contest. I'm not going anywhere with my butt up in the air like that and my head a "get it smashed" level. Oy!

But I gotta hand it to the couple that won. They actually trained (Ha!) and took it very seriously. But they don't look like folks who drink much beer. Maybe they'll share.

This was hysterical Eva.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

This is the best idea ever. I wish I'd heard of this when I was still teaching. Hey kids! New relay race!!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Blimey! Natalie and I should totally enter this contest!

dogimo said...

There need to be more sporting events in which a spouse is used in some sort of equipment capacity. The wife-toss (or would that be the wife-put?). The husband-vault. The tug-o'-spouse.

For this event, I'd be going with the straightforward piggaback.

ethelmaepotter! said...

Any contest that ends with me on a SCALE being WEIGHED is not gonna happen. Ya hear me? Not gonna happen.

Maggie May said...

Oh My Goodness! No way would I volunteer for that! Good fun for those who like a good dunking!

Enjoyed your Roasting over at Eddie's.

Nuts in May

Debbie(singlemom;complicatedworld) said...

HOW funny, fascinating and in the end...FUN!:) I love that couples can continue to find ways to just enjoy being a couple..I say GO for it!:) enjoyed your roast on Eddies site today!

Eva Gallant said...

Blackberry: Glad you enjoy your visits! Come back often!

Retired: If you click on the link to the World Championships, you'll see how they do it in Finland!

Becky: Laughter is the best medicine they say!

Rosaria: So you're going to compete?

Joanna: Of course, because she's fairly small, the didn't win as much beer!

Steam: So you'll be competing?

Richard: Absolutely, you should!

Dogimo: Now those are some great ideas. Since I have a tall husband, the husband vault might work best for us!

Ethel: You crack me up! lol

Maggie: Aww--where's your competitive spirit!

Debbie: Glad you enjoyed the roast..I haven't seen it yet. I'm headed there now!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Eve- what have I been missing? I am laughing my socks off!!
Question! Can you use wheels? LOL

LadyFi said...

This is hilarious! Points for wife-dropping? But nothing deducted if you drop your husband?

sanz360 said...

this is hilarious... i'm sure it's gonna be a fun event for the participants...and the AUDIENCE!!


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Too funny! Wow, that's one retirement activity I never considered. Thanx for sharing. (I came through BPOTW)

bettyl said...

The things we learn about on the internet! Such a hoot!

~Rachée said...

I would to see in person. Thanks for sharing!

starsimplified said...

What a fun post! I hope you guys follow through and try it! Can't wait to see YOUR video!

Louise said...

That sounds like so much fun! I was once at a Cow Bingo event in the back woods of North Carolina - that was hilarious too - the field was divided into numbered squares, and everyone bet on where it would do its business!

Vanessa Rogers said...

Thanks for sharing, my husband thought that was hilarious and said "where do we sign up!"