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Wife Carrying World Championships Welcome Seniors

Written by: Kompster


In the sport of Wife Carrying, if you’re over 40, your a considered a senior citizen.  This year’s Wife Carrying World Championship in Sonkajärvi, Finland takes place on July 4th and 5th and has added a Senior Class for couples over 40!

The Wife Carrying Championship event has been organized in Sonkajärvi, Finland since 1992.  The 2014 Championship Event is marks the 19th on the World Championships level. The number of couples interested in the world wide known event is growing steadily; qualifying games, in which physical condition and sense ofhumour are tested, are being organised in a big number of countries around the world (study the websites, and Besides Finnish couples, contestants will come from Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Estonia, USA.


History of Wife Carrying

The idea of the Wife Carrying Competition is Sonkajärvi’s very own. In spite of its humorous aspects it has deep roots in the local history. In the late 1800’s there was a brigand (a member of a gang that ambushes and robs people in forests and mountains) called Rosvo-Ronkainen living in the area. In his troops he is said to have accepted only the men who proved their worth on a challenging track. In those days, a common practice was to steal women from the neighboring villages. Today, not even a gentle compulsion is being used, the ladies (all with presumably strong stomaches) volunteer for the mission of the championships.

The Estonian contestants have mastered the championships for years and the Wife Carrying World record of  55.5 seconds is held Margo Uusorg and Birgit Ulricht  from Tallinn, Estonia.

Rules include the following:

  • The official track length is 253.5 meters of sand, grass and asphalt with two dry obstacles and one water obstacle.
  • The wife carried must be your own, your neighbor’s or you may have found her but she must be over 17 years old.
  • The wife carried must weigh in at a minimum of 49kg or 108 pounds, those weighing less must carry extra weight to meet the requirement.
  • The winner is the couple who completes the course in the shortest time.
  • If a wife is dropped along the way, she must be picked up before continuing.
  • No equipment may be used other than a belt worn by the carrier.
  • Contestants run two couples at a time in heats, each heat is a competition in itself.
  • Other instructions are provided at the start of the race.
  • It costs 50 € to participate.

There is also a team competition. The track is the same but three men in the team carry the wife in turns. At the exchange point the carrier has to drink the official “wife carrying drink” before continuing the race.


For More Information:

Eukonkanto konttuuri (The Wife Carrying Headquarters )
Eero Pitkänen

e-mail: [email protected]
tel. +358 (0)40 148 4323 Leena- Kaisa Karilahti,


Wife Carrying Around the World

Note that there are many Wife Carrying Competitions held all over the world.  In the US, the well known championship competition takes place at Sunday River Ski Resort in Maine.  This year’s Maine event takes place on October 11, 2014 on a regulation course that mimics the original in Finland.


So if you are bored with the typical Mud Run Obstacle Courses, why not give Wife Carrying a whirl?   Or maybe someone out there is ready to get into the 21st century and start a husband carrying competition here on – The World of Competition

Have a wacky idea for a competition?  Tell us about it or start it here on

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