Run for your wife! Husbands take part in annual Wife Carrying Race hauling their spouses through 1,200ft course… with one contestant seen carrying his dog through the field
- Winners can compete in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland
- Losers of the Dorking race are given a ceremonial Pot Noodle and dog food
Husbands took to the racing track today as the bizarre annual Wife Carrying Race kicked off, with dozens hauling their spouses through a 1,200ft course.
Couples were snapped clambering over straw bales and dodging water buckets as part of the UK’s 15th Wife Carrying Race hosted in Dorking, Surrey.
To take part, carried team members – not necessarily women or wives – had to weigh at least 50kg or wear a rucksack stuffed with items, according to organisers Trionium.
In today’s race, one contestant dressed as a dog was even spotted carrying his pet pup through the field because they were ‘married’.
Those who pass the finish line first are crowned winners and have the chance to compete in the World Wife Carrying Championships hosted in Finland during July.
Couples clambered over straw bales and dodged water buckets as part of today’s race
Race organisers state that competitors can use any of ‘many recognised holds’ to carry their wives, including the ‘very fast’ Estonion Hold (pictured)
Today one contestant was even spotted carrying his dog because they were ‘married’
Race losers receive a ceremonial Pot Noodle and dog food, while the person who carried the heaviest wife is given a pound of sausages for strength.
The oldest carrier is also given a tin of pilchards and jar of Bovril following the yearly race.
But all finishers come away with a vessel of Greensand Ale from the Surrey Hills Brewery for their participation.
Trionium stated: ‘Males or females carry a ‘wife’ (who must be alive, human, at least 18 years old, can be male or female, and does not need to be the carrier’s wife). All those carried must wear a helmet.’
Each year, competitors are allowed to use ‘many recognised holds’ to carry their wives, including the piggy-back, fireman’s carry or a shoulder ride.
Trionium claimed that the Estonian Hold is ‘very fast’ (wife hanging upside-down on another person’s back, legs crossed in front of the man’s face), while a reverse Estonian called the Dorking Hold is ‘not-so-fast’.
The organisers believe that wife-carrying began over twelve centuries ago in 793AD when Viking raiders ransacked the island of Lindisfarne off the coast of England.
It was there that they destroyed the monastery before carrying off any ‘unwilling local wenches’ which started the tradition, according to the race’s official website.
Wife-carrying continued intermittently for around 300 years before the UK Wife Carrying Race was officially instated in 2008.
Winners of the race can compete in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland
Race losers are said to receive a ceremonial Pot Noodle and dog food, while those who complete carrying the heaviest wife are given a pound of sausages for strength
Organisers of the event suggest that wife-carrying began over twelve centuries ago in 793AD