Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wife-Carrying Racing: Excellent Exercise and Couples Therapy

Yesterday the World Wife-Carrying Championships were held in Finland, an event that is quite popular in that country.

Winning for the third year in a row was Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen, two friends from Finland who defeated a rival couple from Estonia by just over a second.

The origins of the race are based on the legend of local outlaw who lived in a nearby forest and would frequently raid neighboring villages to carry off food and, sometimes, a local girl.

The race itself is roughly 250 meters and involves sprinting over grass, gravel, and sand before leaping into a water obstacle up to three feet deep. The unusual carrying style represented in the photo is called the "Estonian Style" and involves the women facing backward over the man's head, with her feet crossed in the front.  This allows for the man to use his arms to help propel himself through the course.

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