NEWRY, ME - When looking for a potential spouse, carriability should be a top factor. This statement could not be truer for the 51 couples participating in this year’s 12th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship (NAWCC) taking place on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at Sunday River Ski Resort. The event has become so popular that it has completely sold out of available registration spots prior to race day – thefirst time in the history of the NAWCC.
Notable registrants for this year’s race include 2009 NAWCC Champions and fifth place finishers at the 2011 Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärven, Finland, Dave and Lacey Castro of Lewiston, Maine, as well as 2010 NAWCC second place finishers, Jesse Wall and Christine Arsenault of Portland, Maine.
The remaining 49 other couples registered will come from points as far away as Newburgh, Indiana and Richmond, Virginia, with the bulk of the participants coming in from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
On race day, couples will navigate a regulation-sized 278-yard obstacle course while the man carries his wife or teammate over hurdles and through the infamous water trap commonly referred to as the “Widow Maker.”
Teams do not have to be legally married to enter, but they must be comprised of a man and a woman and both must be over the age of 21. Prizes for the 2011 NAWCC include the wife’s weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.
“Most of our family and friends think that we are absolute lunatics, but we are proud to tell them that we had a great time today,” exclaimed 2006 champions John and Tess Fara while excepting their cash and prizes.
The carry is the competitors’ choice, though most use the “Estonian” carry where the wife holds her husband around his waist and tightens her legs around his neck, thereby freeing the husband’s hands. The legend behind the contest and this carrying technique is based on Finnish history.
Sunday River’s annual NAWCC is a completely free event to watch and typically draws in upwards of 3,000 spectators. This year’s race will start at 11 a.m. and the course will be located just outside of the South Ridge Base Lodge.
For more information on the NAWCC, visit www.sundayriver.com and check out the action from the North American Wife Carrying Championships of the recent past: