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2014 Summer Press Kit - 15th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship on Saturday, October 11, 2014

April 27, 2014

Press Release

Newry, ME (Summer 2014)  -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 to participate in - the North American Wife Carrying Championship

Scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 11, at 11 a.m., the North American Wife Carrying Championship is the resort's most anticipated event during its annual Fall Festival Weekend

For it, 50 pre-registered couples from all over the United States and Canada 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 will be announced online in late July at sundayriver.com.

Last year's North American Champions were Taisto Miettinen and Reetta Sairanen, a couple from Finland, the sport of wife-carrying's motherland. 

This was Miettinen's second year competing in and winning the North American Wife Carrying Championship at Sunday River. He is also the 2012 and 2013 World Wife Carrying Champion. 

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 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. 

Today, most women and wives actually volunteer their and their husband's services for the North American Wife Carrying Championship event.

For more information on the event, 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.