For some people, the perfect July weekend involves picnics in the park, barbeques, and chilling out with their other half. For others, it involves running through mud and water carrying their partner slung around their shoulders, fireman style. Sound like fun? Welcome to the annual Wife Carrying Championships.
The contest, which started in
Sonkajärvi, Finland, since 1992,was held this year on 5th and 6th July. As the title suggest, the competition is run in pairs, traditionally with a man carrying his wife along an obstacle track. Fear not, however, if you want to compete next year and you’re not with wife, as the website for the event states: “The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbour’s or you may have found her farther ahead.”
While it is ultimately a timed race, prizes are not only awarded for speed. Awards are also given for costumes, spirit, and strength. The style of carrying is officially “freestyle”, however there are rules for the weight of the wife being carried, and preferred styles of carrying, including piggyback, fireman style and upside down (pity the wife who gets dragged through the water section head first).
With contests now held around the world, and prizes for some contests including the wife’s weight in beer this eccentric championship with its roots in tradition could become a global phenomenon.
Take a look at the video of last weekend’s final. Is this the new way to spend your July?