Wife-carrying championships in Kerry
I never knew that there was such a thing as a "Wife Carrying Contest". I wonder if there is such a thing as a "Husband Carrying Contest"?
Wife-carrying championships in Kerry Saturday, 26 July 2008 21:18
Ireland's Wife-Carrying Championships were on in Co Kerry today.
The event, which was inspired by a similar competition in Finland, was being staged as part of the Sneem Family Festival.
The contest involved women being carried over a 250m course, including dry and water obstacles.
Organisers say couples did not have to married to take part, but they had to be over 18.
Contestants who weighed less than 49kg were given a loaded rucksack to make up the minimum weight.
Dropping a wife carried a 15-second penalty.
The winning couple with the fastest time received an expenses paid trip to represent Ireland at the world championships in Finland next July.
The sport originated as a joke in Finland, supposedly reminiscent of a past in which men courted women by running to their village, picking them up, and carrying them off. The Wife Carrying Contest has very deep roots in Sonkajärvi's local history, despite its humorous aspect. In the late 1800s a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen was staying in the area. He allegedly only accepted troops who proved their worth on a challenging track. The sport is now practised around the world and has a category in theGuinness Book of Records.