I’m not sure what’s more surprising, the fact that there’s a North American Wife Carrying Championship or that the event has been on-going in the U.S. since 1999.
Elliot and Giana Storey, a couple from Westbrook, Maine took the title at the 17th annual event in Newry, Maine over the weekend at Sunday River Resort. I guess you could say the Storeys have quite a story — they are now the North American Wife Carrying Championship champions.
Even better? They take home 11 cases of Goose Island Octoberfest beer and five times Giana’s weight in cash ($665).
The couple’s winning time was 59.18 seconds, defeating second place finishers Jake and Kristin Barney of Lexington, Virginia by 2.81 seconds .
Elliot carried carried Giana through two dry obstacles and one water obstacle known as the “widow maker,” over 278 yards en route to the very prestigious ‘ship. And since their combined weight was more than 350 pounds, they also took home medals for winning the championship’s “Clydesdale division.” Fun.
The Storeys aren’t done yet. They now move on to the World Wife Carrying Championship in Finland next summer.
The champions going through "The Widow Maker."
The Stoneys just seconds ahead of the 2nd place Barneys.
Another view with two other couples.
Elliott easily clears an obstacle with Giana on his back.
The view from the finish line.
Another reason it pays to win the championship.
Don’t have a wife or husband just yet? You don’t need one to compete. You only need a female/male combo, in which one doesn’t mind carrying the other, and both of you must be over 21. Helmets aren’t required either. Only your dignity.
So, you’re wondering how all this started?
“Based on the 19th century Finnish legend, wife-carrying became a sport as a result of men stealing wives from neighboring villages as means to prove their worth and strength to famed henchman, Herkko Ronkainen, also known as Ronkainen the Robber. Men who were able to carry their stolen wives in the wilderness, over stones, stumps, fences and springs, were accepted into Ronkainen’s privileged group of thieves.” – Sunday River
Here’s the video from this weekend’s event. Surprisingly, there are hundreds of very raucous spectators, and even a proposal. Because why wouldn’t you propose at a national wife carrying championship?
You can read more about the North American Wife Carrying Championship here.
Check out No. 1 on this list from 2012. The winner is a goo dude.
Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports.