Oct 7, 2023
Two-Time Champions, Team Speed Roesler, take home $564 cash and six cases of beer at Maine ski area's Fall Fest

Wisconsin Couple Earns Back-to-Back Titles in the 24th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship

NEWRY, MAINE (October 7, 2023)—Finishing in just over a minute with a time of 1:04, North American Wife Carrying Champions Caleb and Justine Roesler of Team Speed Roesler, from Waukesha, Wisconsin, were crowned the winners for the second year in a row at the 24th annual event held at Sunday River Resort.

Team Speed Roesler competed against 24 other couples to make it to the final round against competitors John Lund and Karen May, of Team 22 Years in the Making. This is getting Silly. Hope & Love Win!, who finished with a time of 1:21. Traveling from Finland, John Lund has participated in the North American Wife Carrying Championship since 2001 and has earned a spot on the podium each year.

Team Speed Roesler took home six cases of beer as well as five times Justine's weight in cash. Team 22 Years in the Making. This is getting Silly. Hope & Love Win!, took home Karen's weight in beer and soda, and a $50 Sunday River gift card. Champions in past years, Team Guac 'N Roll, finished in Third Place with a time of 1:35 and earned a $50 Sunday River gift card. 

First place for the Clydesdale category—a couple who have a combined weight of over 350 pounds—was awarded to Team We Actually Aren't Putting a Label on it. Team High and Dry won the combined age of over 80 category.

New this year, three additional prizes were awarded to competitors. The Most Average Award was earned by Team Deb & Norm, who completed the course closest to the average time of all competitors. The Best Dressed Award was given to Team Zabeze Habibi, who competed in style and bling. Lastly, the Most Epic Wipeout Award, which speaks for itself, was earned by Team White Chocolate Mocha

For media inquiries, please contact Ellen Wainwright, Communications Manager, at ellen.wainwright@sundayriver.com or 207-824-5218. For more information about Sunday River Resort, visit SundayRiver.com. Permission to use and distribute photos and videos from this release is granted with credit to Sunday River Resort.

About the North American Wife Carrying Championship

Built to international specifications, the North American Wife Carrying Championship course is 278 yards in length, with a log hurdle, a sand dune, 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 main's shoulders in an upside down piggyback. Helmets are not required but often used. 

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.


Media Contact: Ellen Wainwright, Communications Manager