Married couples face many hurdles, but not like the contestants in the North American Wife Carrying Championship, now in its 26th year in the United States.
This year’s competition took place Saturday at a ski resort in Newry, Maine. Forty-four competing couples put their relationship ― and their muscles ― to the test by running through an obstacle course that included log hurdles, sand traps and mud. Lots and lots of mud. As the event title implies, the man has to carry his beloved through the whole 278-yard course.
The couples don’t have to be married, but each team must have a male and female member over the age of 21. The couple with the fastest time wins fame, glory, the woman’s weight in beer, and an amount of cash equal to five times her weight.
Elliot and Giana Storey of Westbrook, Maine, had the top time of 59.18 seconds and won eleven cases of Goose Island Oktoberfest beer and $665. The Storeys’ victory qualified them for the world championship wife-carrying competition in Finland next summer. The contest has its roots in Finnish legend: a thief required his recruits to carry a heavy weight to prove their ability to rob people.