The North American Wife-Carrying Championships will be held this Saturday at Sunday River.
The race is comprised of an obstacle course set out over 278 yards. Although most teams employ the “Estonian” method of carrying, teams are welcome to compete as they see fit. Usually the man carries his wife through the course where various barriers like hurdles, mud bogs, and a water trap make up the obstacles. Apparently the water trap is infamous, and is known as the “Widow Maker” to competitors and attendees.
The event is free to enter and the winners take home the wife’s weight in beer, five times her weight in cash, and an entry into the World Championship, which takes place in Finland the following summer. Each year, the field includes 50 couples with pre-qualification given to the winners of state or regional events.
More info From Sunday River:
“The North American Wife Carrying Championship draws thousands of spectators to the grass-covered slopes of Sunday River each fall and receives world-wide media attention as teams compete for fame, fortune, and a chance to compete at the World Championships in Finland the following summer.
The 15th annual North American Wife Carrying Championship is scheduled for 11am on Saturday, October 11, 2014 during Sunday River’s Fall Festival weekend. Wife-carrying is based on husband-and-wife teams racing with the husband carrying the wife through a regulation length 278-yard obstacle course featuring log hurdles, sand traps, and the always popular “widow maker” water hazard. The fastest two teams from the qualifying round then compete head-to-head in a final heat. Competing couples do not have to be married, though they must be comprised of a man and a woman and both must be at least 21 years old to enter. How the wife is carried is the competitors’ choice, though most use the “Estonian carry” where the female participant holds the male around the waist and tightens her legs around his neck, thereby freeing his hands.
The winning couple takes home the wife’s weight in beer, five times her weight in cash, and an entry into the World Championship, which takes place in Finland the following summer. Each year, the field includes 50 couples with pre-qualification given to the winners of state or regional events.
Registration for the 2014 North American Wife Carrying Championship is full, but you’re encouraged to come watch the event and take part in the festivities while you plan your training strategy for next year.”