The Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland
In this bizarre contest in Finland, couples don’t compete for glory, they compete for the wife’s weight in beer.
Every July, couples from around the world gather in Sonkajarvi in central Finland to compete in the Wife Carrying World Championships.
The concept is simple enough. Husbands must carry their wives through an obstacle course as fast as possible.
The course is 253.5 metres long with one dry and two water obstacles.
The ‘wife’ must weigh at least 49 kilos and if dropped, the couple face a 15 second penalty.
The prize? The winning couple get the wife’s weight in beer.
In this video, Vagabrothers Marko and Alex Ayling travel to Finland to compete in the Championship, convincing two local girls to act as their wives.
Along the way they learn to master the preferred ‘Estonian hold’ and get their butts handed to them on a plate by former champion, Taisto Miettinen and his wife.
The race traces its origins back to Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen, AKA Ronkainen the Robber. Ronkainen and his gang lived in the forests in these parts, terrorising local villagers and running off with their women.
You might remember that we featured the Wodaabe Wife Stealing Festival in Niger last issue.
Who knew nicking another bloke’s missus was such a thing around the world?
For more information on attending the Wife Carrying World Championships – or maybe even competing – visit the official Eukonkanto website.
Main image: Competitors in the 2015 Wife Carrying World Championships (© Pekka Honkakoski)