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Finnish Couple Takes North American Wife Carrying Championship

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Wife carrying has a long way to go before it’s part of the Olympics. However the odd competition certainly has an international flavor.

In fact, the winners of the 13th annual North American Wife Carrying Championship, which took place over the weekend in Maine’s Sunday River ski area, came all the way from Finland.

Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen of Helsinki trudged through muddy water, a sand pile and some sharp turns to finish the 280 yards obstacle course in 53 seconds, edging Maine residents Jesse Wall and Christine Arsenault by a second. It was the fourth straight North American Championship for the Finns.

50 couples competed in race, with most finishing in about 90 seconds. Competitors don’t have to be married, but they do have to be over 21.

For their victory, Miettinen and Haapanen received Haapanen’s weight in beer and five times her weight in cash (or $530).

While a healthy crowd cheered the racers on, afterwards some of the competitors talked about the odd looks they got when they practiced for the event in public. Yup, that should attract some concerned glances.

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