Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And Now for Something a Little Different: The Wife Carrying World Championships

In Sonkajärvi, Finland this summer, you can compete in the 17th annual Wife Carrying World Championships. The race stems from the late 1800s, when it was common practice for Sonkajärvi men to steal women from neighboring villages. There are three races that make up the event. The first is the title Wife Carrying World Championships. The second is a team competition, in which three men carry the wife in turns; at each exchange point, the carrier has to drink the "Official Wife Carrying Drink." The third event is a sprint competition, in which in which the man carries his wife over a 100-meter sand and gravel track with a water obstacle in the middle.

The winner of the Wife Carrying World Championship will recieive the eqivalent of wife's weight in beer, a bag full of wife carrying products, and a statue with the wife carrying motif. Margo Uusorg and Birgit Ulricht from Estonia hold the Wife Carrying world record of 55.5 seconds.

The race will take place on July 4, 2009. More information can be found at

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