Carrying your wife over the threshold means good luck in your new marriage. Carrying your wife over the threshold of an obstacle course featuring log hurdles, sand traps and water hazards means beer and cash prizes.
A husband and wife from Maine are this year’s winners of the North American Wife Carrying Championship held Saturday in Newry, Maine and will compete in the world championship in Finland next year.
Elliot and Giana Storey, of Westbrook, will bring home 11 cases of Goose Island Octoberfest beer and $665. They bested 43 other couples to win the 17th annual competition.
The Storeys completed the 278-yard course in 59.18 seconds. Their prizes were the weight of Giana in beer and five times her weight in cash.
The legend behind the event is based on Finland’s “Ronkainen the Robber,” whose 19th century gang was known to pillage villages and take the women. Other accounts suggest Ronkainen required gang members to prove with toughness by completing a course with a heavy sack — or a woman.
The modern version features teams racing through a regulation length obstacle course dry and wet hazards.
These days, men usually carry a woman — they don’t have to be married and the couple can choose who carries whom — in a variety of styles including piggyback, the over-the-shoulder fireman’s carry and the “Estonian carry,” which features the woman upside down and dangling behind her partner.