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2015 Summer Press Kit - 16th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship on Saturday, October 10, 2015

Event draws 50 competing couples from around the world

May 18, 2015

Newry, ME (Summer 2015)--What started as a quirky event to grow media exposure to the Western Mountains of Maine has quickly turned into one of Sunday River Resort's most sought-after events for major competitors--the North American Wife Carrying Championship.

Scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 10, at 10:00AM, the North American Wife Carrying Championship is the resort's most anticipated event during its annual Fall Festival Weekend.

Fifty pre-registered couples from around the world come to the resort to compete for the championship title and prizes including the wife's weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.

Former world, state, and regional champions have been known to travel to Sunday River and compete in the national championship event. Pre-qualification is given to the winners of world, state, and regional events; public registration for the remaining spots opens online later this summer at sundayriver.com.

Last year's North American Champions were Jesse Wall and Christina Arsenault, a local couple that has competed in the event for several years and finally got their trophy.

Course length is based on the World Wife Carrying Championship event that takes place in Sonkajärvi, Finland every July. The difference between the two competitions is the location's respective course. The world event's course is a track and Sunday River's course takes place on a mountainside.

Both events feature obstacles; Sunday River's course obstacles range from log hurdles and sand traps to a man-made pond also known as the "widow maker."

After all 50 couples compete, the fastest two times are determined. The two couples with the fastest times then race against one another for the championship title and prizes.

Based upon Finnish folklore and modern World Wife Carrying Championship rules, couples do not actually have to be married or even dating to compete, but do have to be comprised of a man and woman. Both participants must also be of legal drinking age.

For this event most couples use the traditional Estonian carry in which the woman's thighs rest upon the man's shoulders in an upside-down piggyback fashion. Some couples, however, use a fireman's carry or an actual piggyback.

To date, all former champions, both at the North American and World events, have used the Estonian carry.
The idea of wife-carrying is Sonkajärvi's very own. Despite its humorous look, the sport has deep roots in Finnish and Estonian history and is based on a brigand named Rosvo-Ronkainen who only accepted men capable of proving their worth and strength. In those days, a common practice was to steal women from the neighbouring villages to and run through a rigorous course.

For more information on the event, including video and pictures, visit sundayriver.com.

Sunday River is located minutes from picturesque Bethel Village in Western Maine's Mahoosuc Mountains. A true four-season destination, the resort offers eight interconnected peaks of world class skiing and snowboarding, the most slopeside lodging in the east including two resort hotels, and in the summer months activities including lift-serviced mountain biking, ziplines, and golf at the acclaimed Sunday River Golf Club. Sunday River is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions.