'Wife Carrying' Is The Latest Challenge For Married Couples

Nick Lambert

We're all familiar with how hard marriage can be. When you share every single day, paycheck and chore with the same person — who happens to be the only person you're allowed to have sex with for the rest of eternity — problems inevitably creep up.

It's why so many of us 20- and 30-somethings are scared to ever say "I do."

But there's one marital challenge we're just learning about that actually seems, well, kind of fun. OK, really fun.

It's called "Wife Carrying."

Nick Lambert

The sport involves men physically carrying their wives through a Tough Mudder-like, 278-yard obstacle course filled with log hurdles, sand traps and one water-based challenge.

Whoever can get through the course the fastest without dropping their wifey wins "the wife's weight in beer, and five times her weight in cash," according to

(Ahem, we're going to pretend to not be offended by this, since it implies that the more you weigh, the harder it is for your husband to carry you, and thus, the more he should win. He's lucky you even let him carry your fine ass, OK?!)

Nick Lambert

Now, you may be wondering how the EFF a sport like this ever became a thing... and why you are just learning about it now.

Turns out, it was spawned from a 19th century legend in Finland about some robber dude named Ronkainen.

He either stole wives from neighboring villages by literally hoisting them onto his back, or trained his team of thieves to steal heavy objects by practicing carrying large sacks.

No one really knows for sure.

But what we DO know is the legend inspired the people of Finland to start Wife Carrying events in the early '90s, which has evolved into an annual World Championship competition held in Sonkajärvi.

The US got in on the action in 1999 when The North American Wife Carrying Championship was founded in Newry, Maine. Every October since, the winners of various Wife Carrying events throughout the country meet up at Sunday River Resort to crown a new champion.

There are rules (you don't have to be legally married, but teams must be one woman and one man — which needs some updating, IMO), and even more than one carrying style. Just check out this how-to:

Using the "Estonian Carry," Elliot Storey, a Maine local, carried his wife, Giana, to pure, sweet victory over the weekend in the 17th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship, according to the local Bethel Sun Journal.

Nick Lambert

They smoked 49 other couples by finishing the course in only 57.75 seconds, and walked away with 11 12-packs of Goose Island Oktoberfest, $665 in cash and a spot in the Finland Word Championships next summer.

Can you imagine what the other couples' fights at the end of the finish line must have looked like?

"I told you to run faster, Ron!"

"Well, I would've run faster if you weren't choking me with your thighs of steel, Stephanie! That's it, no more SoulCycle for you."

"Oh yeah? Well, no more beer for you!"

Ahhh, marriage.

Citations: Wife-Carrying Championship features romance and mud (Bethel Sun Journal), Couples Face Heavy Competition In The Bizarre Sport Of Wife Carrying (Huffington Post)