FYI: This year's America's 19th edition will be held on October 6, 2018. Do we hear couples exclaiming a loud 'yay' after reading this?
Question: Is physical strength relevant when two people decide to get married?
Even if it isn't that important for many, for some married couples it could possibly be a chance to win a free supply of beer and a cash load of money equivalent to the total body weight of your wife!
Sounds insane? Well, it's true.
If you're wondering how to get crackin' and to win, read on.
Just enroll yourself as a participant in the wife-carrying championship this year (or later if you aren't ready yet) to earn the bounty—first place wins the wife’s weight in beer and wads of money bills!
Called the "Wife-carrying championships," it takes places in several countries across the globe. However, the origins of the championship goes to Finland.
A small town in Finland hosts an annual 'wife carrying' competition where you carry your partner around a race course pic.twitter.com/sBNIzJ80sf— Business Insider UK (@BIUK) 2 May 2018
According to Simple Most, the Finnish custom (Eukonkanto or Akankanto in the Finnish language) began a few hundred years back when a thief named Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen roamed Finland with a gang of men, robbing villages and stealing women (usually on their backs, it is believed).
Wife carrying competition in Finland pic.twitter.com/uGK9cP2Hvq— रघु (@rabish308) 7 July 2017
It was this act of carrying a woman on the back that eventually led to what looks like a fiercely competitive sport today, with the first official “wife-carrying” competition organized in 1992 in Finland itself.
Despite the shady origins, the fun factor is hard to ignore as thousands of participants and spectators are seen having a gala time everywhere it is organized. In fact, North America has its own version too.
Last year's edition was organized at the Sunday River in Maine on October 7, 2017, that witnessed the registration of more than 60 couples and even more spectators watching from the stands.
This year in the USA, the event will be held on October 6, 2018, during Sunday River Resort's annual Fall Festival Weekend.
For the uninitiated, it isn't necessary to have a wife as the rucksack as participants are allowed to seek other partners, even if they aren't married.
The race format in the USA varies slightly from the World Championship in that there is no minimum weight limit for the wife, and the winner is determined by a head-to-head final race.
Maine's Wife Carrying Competition about to begin - participants appear physically fit and competitive! pic.twitter.com/0xMWLXaiZh— Susan Field (@SusanField19) 7 October 2017
Additionally, the North American course is run on uneven ground with elevation changes, as compared to the World course, which is predominantly flat. Helmets are not required for the North American Championship.
The course is always 253.5 meters (277 yards) and the female participant must be over 17-years-old. 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. Watch our How-To video to really get the hang of it.
The winning couple takes home an entry into the World Championship (along with the cash prize) which takes place in Finland the following summer.
Watch the race madness unfold here:
But it isn't all fun and games, as one can see in the video above that the obstacle course is difficult. With water and other hefty obstacles laid out for participants to overcome, the race is a true challenge that tests the physical strength, agility, and teamwork between a man and woman.
The winners of each of the country's edition, head to Finland to compete in the world championship where the bounty gets tougher, bigger, better and of course, harder!
Safe to say that the answer to the question is a resounding YES. It definitely is a pre-requisite to have great physical strength as that could be a winning advantage in events like these.