Returning Champions Clinch Top Prize in 19th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship
NEWRY, MAINE (October 6, 2018)—Finishing with a time of 58.72 seconds, returning North American Wife Carrying Champions Jesse Wall and Christine Arsenault of Team Cure Mito from Oxford, Maine, were crowned the winners of the 19th annual event held at Sunday River Resort.
Wall and Arsenault competed against 34 other couples to make it to the final round against first-time competitors Melissa Vigue and Nathan Lewia of Team CrossFit Couple from Wells, Maine, who finished the race with a time of 1:04.02. Team Cure Mito took home 12 cases of beer in addition to five times Arsenault's weight in cash. They were also awarded first place in the combined age over 80 category.
Team CrossFit Couple took home Vigue's weight in soda and two cases of beer. Third place was awarded to Russ and Liz Pearce of Team Pearce from Yarmouth, Maine, with a time of 1:10.40, who beat out Darryl and Caroline Dickey of Team Dickey from Smyrna, Georgia, with a time of 1:32.57. First place for the Clydesdale category-a couple who have a combined weight of over 350 pounds-was awarded to 2016 overall champions Elliot and Giana Storey of Westbrook, Maine.
Team Cure Mito is only the third pair in the history of the North American Wife Carrying Championship to win the event for the second time, and they have also competed in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland.
Built to international specifications, the North American Wife Carrying Championship course is 278 yards in length, with two log hurdles, and one water obstacle often referred to as the "widow maker." Choice of hold is up to each couple, most of whom choose the Estonian Carry where the woman's thighs rest on the man's shoulders in an upside down piggyback. Helmets are not required but often used. For 2018, couples traveled from as far as San Diego, California, to compete.
The North American race format varies slightly from Finland's World Championship in that there is no minimum weight limit for the wife and the "man and wife" pair must both be 21 years old. Additionally, a head-to-head final race between the top two fastest couples determines the North American Championship couple, rather than a one run for time format at the World Championships.
Based on the 19th century Finnish legend, wife-carrying became a sport as a result of men stealing wives from neighboring villages as means to prove their worth and strength to famed henchman, Herkko Ronkainen, also known as Ronkainen the Robber. Men who were able to carry their stolen wives in the wilderness, over stones, stumps, fences and springs, were accepted into Ronkainen's privileged group of thieves.
For more information on the 19th annual North American Wife Carrying Championship at Sunday River, please contact Director of Communications Karolyn Castaldo at 207-824-5218 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Full results are available on SundayRiver.com.
About Sunday River Resort: A four-season destination, Sunday River Resort is home to eight interconnected mountain peaks of world-class skiing and snowboarding. The resort includes 135 trails and 6 terrain parks on 870 skiable acres and the most slopeside lodging in the East: Two Resort Hotels, the Snow Cap Inn, Ski Dorm, and hundreds of slopeside condominiums on-site. Sunday River is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions and is located in Newry, Maine, amidst the scenic Mahoosuc Range.
About the North American Wife Carrying Championship: The North American Wife Carrying Championship was founded in 1999 at Sunday River Resort in Maine and has been held annually in mid-October at this location ever since. The North American Championship holds registration spots open for winners of any sanctioned state, provincial, or regional wife carrying events, and provides entry to these competitors at no cost, then opens any remaining spots for public registration. The winning team brings home the wife's weight in beer and five times her weight in cash. More information at wife-carrying.org.