‘Wife Carrying’ A Race Of Romance And Mud

Move over, Amazing Race! There’s a new couple’s sport in town, and boy does it look grueling. It’s called “Wife Carrying” (yes, really) and it’s Newry, Maine’s hottest race. 

Couples participate along gender lines, with the husband hoisting his wife off the ground in any way he sees fit and running through a Tough-Mudder-like obstacle course that is 278 yards long.

If he drops his wife at any point, the couple is disqualified.

If that doesn’t sound crazy enough, check out the winner’s prizes: The victorious couple gets the wife’s weight in beer, plus five times her weight in cash!

This all may seem like an absurd flavor-of-the-week sport in America, and indeed it is new to the country, but it actually has old roots in Finland.

It’s based on the Finnish legend of Ronkainen, a robber rumoured to steal wives (and/or other heavy objects) by hoisting them on his shoulders and carting them off into the night. The sport began in the 1990s in Finland, and the World Championship is held in Sonkajärvi.

This sport sounds silly, but is no joke: it’s not only hard on the man, who is running with another human adult attached to him, but also the lady, who has to use all her muscle strength to support herself as much as possible during the ride.

Last year’s US finalists are Elliot Storey and his wife Giana, who beat out 49 other couples by finishing the course in just under a minute! They won 11 six packs of Goose Island Oktoberfest, $665 in cash, and of course, the chance to compete again in Sonkajärvi !