Fastest Wife Carrier

Ημερομηνία Κυριακή, 23 Νοέ 2003 @ 00:00
Θέμα/Κατηγορία Νέα και Περίεργα

Αποστολέας LavantiS

The fastest time to complete the 235 m (771 ft) obstacle course of the World Wife-Carrying Championships, held annually in Sonkajärvi, Finland, is 55.5 seconds by Margo Uusorg and Birgit Ulricht (pictured) of Läänernaa, Estonia, on July 1, 2000.

This record is likely to be unbroken, as Birgit weighed only 34 kg – in the 2002 Championships, a minimum weight for the "wives" of 49 kg was established, and competitors must carry sandbags if necessary to make up the difference. However, a "classic" category was also introduced, in which the women must be carried by piggyback and be married to the carrier.

When men start manhandling their wives like sacks of coal, it's usually a sign of marital difficulties, unless, of course, you're in Finland during the summer. Once a year, the Finnish town of Sonkajarvi hosts the International Wife-Carrying Championships, in which the paired-up participants from around the world compete to win the wife's weight in beer!

When the Estonians entered the world of wife carrying, they engineered their own eccentric style. Instead of the conventional piggyback, the Baltic wife-bearers sling their spouses upside down over their shoulders, the women's legs dangling over their husbands' chests. This allows the man's arms to move more freely.

Marriage can be a rocky road, so it's fitting that the wife-carrying course is littered with obstacles. The contesting couples have to run through a neck-high pool of water, clear log hurdles, and career around a hairpin bend. Couples are fined a 15-second time penalty if the husband drops his wife.

"It's so politically incorrect it's funny," laughs Deborah Downs, a competitor in US wife-carrying events. Certainly, the tradition stretches way back before the dawn of feminism.
In Finland, they say wife carrying first originated when men would raid rival towns and cart away the womenfolk. Others say it began with Ronkainen, a local 19th-century robber who would test out potential partners in crime by getting them to lug sacks of grain.

Source: Guinness Records

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