One of the most unusual sporting events of the year is set to return this July as Finland prepares to host the 21st annual Wife Carrying Championships 2013. The event, which involves a male competitor carrying a female teammate through a series of obstacles, has been held annually in Sonkajarvi, Finland since 1992.
Traditionally a local event, the Wife Carrying Championships now attracts couples and teams from all over the world. Brits training for the big day in July took part in the UK’s very own Wife Carrying Race in Dorking over the weekend, with the winners receiving £500 towards their trip to Finland. “I can't sing or dance and it always looked like good fun. I'm always keen to try random challenges,” one contestant told the Metro over the weekend.
The Wife Carrying Championships in Finland are set to take place at the beginning of July with the winners of the contest being awarded their wife’s weight in beer. The official track length is 253.5 metres and the course is made up of several different obstacles. Contestants must carry their partners through two sets of dry obstacles and one water obstacle, about one metre deep, to reach the finish line and win the race.
The unique sporting event attracts couples from all over the world but the winners’ league is dominated by contestants from Estonia and Finland. For the last four years Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen from Finland have won the race, averaging a time of just less than one minute each time.