Weird Sports – Wife Carrying
I am looking at the exciting sport of Wife Carrying.
I feel a bit of a cheat because not only is there loads of information that can be found quite easily, but the sport itself is fun already.
My first search on Wife Carrying UK, brought me to this site which is full of interesting information and videos from past events: http://www.trionium.com/wife/
So some of the rules from the UK version of this event:
Males or females carry a ‘wife’ a man or woman of at least 18 who weighs 50 kilos or more. Anyone less than 50 Kg will have to wear the rucksack of shame containing the beans of justice (well a rucksack with tins of beans to bring the weight of the passenger up to 50 kilos.)
All of the participants and passengers start off at the same time and run an obstacle course including a water gauntlet, on their return journey where spectator participation is encouraged with water weaponry.
The winner is the first team to cross the finish line; however, time penalties are given if the passenger is dropped during the course (I assume a good ear bashing is administered by the ‘Wife’ as well).
Safety is a primary concern, all passengers must wear a helmet and as the website states there are a raft of injuries that can be suffered during this event including: slipped disk, broken legs and arms, spinal damage, facial injury, skull fracture, hernias, and death.
As with many sports technique is just as important as brute strength and the most important technique to decide on for Wife carrying is which hold to use. The options appear to be: bridal carry, piggy-back, shoulder-ride and fireman’s carry (across the shoulders).
The most popular would seem to be known as the Estonian hold. This is where the wife hangs upside down on the Carriers back and cross their legs in front of the man’s face. Presumably the passenger then spends the rest of the race praying that last night’s tea hadn’t included beans. From a technical (if not odour) stand point this would seem to free the carriers strength for moving rather than moving and maintaining hold of the passenger. I assume peripheral vision is cut down by the thighs of the passenger being wrapped round the carrier’s head which could be the biggest drawback to this technique.
So if anyone is interested in participating in Wife Carry UK then they had best get training as the next event is due to take place on 24/03/13.