Wife Carrying

Wife carrying


Putting aside the patriarchal and hetreonormative undertones, this is pretty freaking hilarious. Nothing gets more self-explainatory than wife-carrying. Basically, you carry your wife (or female partner) through an obstacle course. The faster the better.


Wife carrying originated in Finland in 1992 as a humorous take on an old folk character, Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen. As the story goes, Herkko was an outlaw living in the early 19th century. He and his band of men lived in the forrest and would pillage local towns, stealing their food and women. It was said that these outlaws were so good at stealing women because they would train “wife-carrying” with heavy sacks of potatoes.

It’s now a sport played in Australia, United States of America, Hong Kong and Estonia.


The regulation standard wife carrying course is 253.5 meters long, which includes  two dry obstacles (usually the sandpit and fences)  and a water obstacle, about one meter deep.

There are three ways to carry your wife: piggyback, fireman’s carry (over the shoulder), or Estonian-style (the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, holding onto his waist)

And a weight limit: the wife to be carried must at least be 49 kilograms. If she is less than 49 kg, the wife will be burdened with a rucksack containing the additional weight.

The carrier must wear a belt for the wife to hold onto and the wife must have wear a helmet.

It’s not all about speed. The most entertaining and well-dressed couples also win awards.

Wife carrying in Australia

The national wife carrying competition in Australia started in 2005. This year, it’s run by radio station Triple M.

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