We will admit up front that it’s a pretty strange thing, the not-so-ancient ‘sport’ of wife carrying. Supposedly a Finnish practice started in the late 1800’s by a band of roving thieves, ‘wife stealing’ or ‘wife carrying’ managed to survive through the ages and eventually morph from idiosyncratic cultural practice to national and then international sport.
Wife carrying may have had its roots in Finland but it is now also practiced in Australia, the U.S., Hong Kong, Estonia and Germany. And of course, in Texas.
At the River Point Church in Richmond, Texas, a wife carrying competition is now in its third year.
Wife carrying has very specific rules: the official track length is 253.5 meters and is partially grass, partially sand, and partially water. At the River Point wife-carrying race, the carrier must be a man, and the ‘wife’ must be at least 16 years of age and at least 108 pounds. If the wife weighs less, she gets a backpack filled with weights to bring her up to that requirement.
In addition, at River Pointe the wife must wear a helmet, and that’s where Nutcase has come in. And thank goodness – the wife-carrying race is short but brutal, and being carried means being continually bounced and jostled, and even partially dunked or thrown from the carrier along the route.
As one observer of the 2013 race video said: “Good thing they’re wearing helmets! There’s a couple of close calls!”
While we think that wife carrying should be opened to allow any ‘husband’ to carry any ‘wife’ in this race, take a look at the video and you’ll have to agree that it’s a wacky and weird sort of fun.
This year’s race, which will take place August 23, is hosted by well-known fitness model Jamie Eason.