Delaware couple wins wife carrying competition in Maine

October 12, 2019 GMT

NEWRY, Maine (AP) — A Delaware couple is the winner of the North American Wife Carrying Championship held at the Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine.

Olivia Rowling and Jerome Roehm of Team Lovebirds from Newark, Delaware, crossed the 278-yard muddy obstacle course Saturday in 55.95 seconds to win the 20th annual event.

Eighty-one teams from Maine to California were scheduled to participate.

Based on Finnish tradition, the event features male competitors completing the obstacle course while carrying a woman. The event is based on Finland’s “Ronkainen the Robber,” whose gang was known to pillage villages and take the women.

The men carry the women upside down on their backs with the women’s legs wrapped around their necks. The course includes two log hurdles and one water obstacle.

Contestants do not have to be married or even in a romantic relationship. Contestants must be over 21, and the wife participant must weigh at least 108 pounds or wear weights to reach the requirement.

Team Lovebirds took home six cases of beer in addition to five times Rowling’s weight in cash, totaling $555.

Rowling and Roehm are eligible to participate in the world championship next year in Finland.

Christine Arsenault and Jesse Wall of Team Cure Mito, from Oxford, Maine, finished second with a time of 1 minute 2 seconds.