I posted about the Wife-Carrying Championship back in January, to give those interested time to train for it and make plans to compete. Well, this past weekend the event was held again. (part of this post is a repeat of the original, to refresh your memory if you were here in January, and to bring you up to date of you weren't!)
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 Conduct Code, 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
Here are some photos, Courtesy of AmericaZoom, of this year's competition:
And of course, some video, as well:
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 next 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!