Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship

Date October 8, 2016
Time Starts at 11:00 am

Event Description

Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship
at Sunday River  15 South Ridge Road, Newry, ME
(800) 543-2754
Saturday, October 8th, 2016

The 17th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship®, which kicks off at 11AM on October 8th during Fall Festival. The competition 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.

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.
The legend behind the North American Wife Carrying Championship is based on 19th century Finnish legend "Ronkainen the Robber" who had high qualifications for the men he accepted into his band. To prove their worth,men had to compete through a difficult course with a heavy sack (or woman grabbed from neighboring villages) on their back.

The first modern day wife-carrying event was held in Finland in 1991 and foreign contestants were admitted in 1995. Qualifying events are also held in Australia, Sweden, and Estonia. The course at Sunday River is built to international specifications at 278 yards in length;with two dry obstacles and one water obstacle.
More details and registration

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