An unusual event took place on Saturday in Newry, Maine: the North American Wife-Carrying Championship. Although few people have heard of the Championship, it has been taking place every year for the last 17 years.

The goal of the competition is to carry one’s partner through obstacles like log hurdles, sand traps and water hazards. The fastest couple wins, and this year the title belongs to Elliot and Giana Storey of Westbrook, Maine. They took first place with a time of 59.18 seconds. They will compete in the world championship next year, which is to take place in Finland.

The prizes in the Championship are equally interesting: first and second place winners take home their wife’s weight in beer, while first place also takes their wife’s weight in cash. In Elliot and Giana’s case, this amounted to $665 and 11 cases of beer.

This competition was originally invented in Finland, inspired by folk legends about “Ronkainen the Robber,” a 19th century gang known for pillaging villages and stealing women.


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Although the event is known as the “Wife-Carrying Championship,” couples don’t have to be married to compete. This year, Alex Gauvin carried his girlfriend to the finish line, and then proposed to her in a memorable gesture.


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