Those Fun-Loving Finns

Stop the presses!

Stick Chick has found her next vacation destination.

The Finns have it all in hand with the upcoming 20th Eukonkannon MM-kisat Wife Carrying World Championships held in Sonkajärvi. Attracting local competitors, organizers also report participating couples hailing from Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Estonia, and the United States. The rules clearly state, “All the participants must have fun.”

The Estonians, who are noted tough competitors, hold the record of 55.5 seconds to carry a wife 253.5 meters on a sand track punctuated by two dry obstacles and one meter-deep water impediment. That’s roughly the equivalent of three football fields.

The event, having gained increasing popularity since its 1992 inception, now offers a Wife Carrying Senior series for the so-inclined over 40 crowd. Competition applications will be accepted for the 2015 event beginning in January, so mark your calendar.

According to the organizers’ website, the festival “has deep roots in the local history. In the late 1800’s there was a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen living in the area. In his troops he is said to have accepted only the men who proved their worth on a challenging track. In those days, a common practice was to steal women from the neighbouring villages.”

Today’s female participants volunteer for their role. There is also a sprint competition and a team competition akin to a baton passing relay, except in this case baton = wife.

Photo Courtesy Markku/EPA via MSN
Photo Courtesy Markku/EPA via MSN

“At the exchange point, the carrier has to drink the official ‘wife carrying drink’ before continuing the race,” say the rules.

That made Stick Chick at least curious about what’s in it, but they don’t publicize it.

The fun fest caters to all ages. This year’s scheduled event included: dancing, DJ’s, food vendors, a bouncy house for the kids, several local performing artists, and The Conscript Band of Finnish Defence Forces, all for a reasonable about $34 for adults and $7 for kids under 15 (25 and 5 euros respectively.)

Aside from the races, an afternoon event entitled Rosvo Ronkainen’s auction of borrowed items caught Stick Chick’s eye. Those fun-loving Finnish people know how to party.

If you do nothing else, you owe it to yourself to read How to Become a Master in Wife Carrying. She’s guessing the 20th event on 3-4 July 2015 will be chock full of extra special good times. Get your passport ready. The question is, will Stick Chick be a participant or a spectator?

 

 

 

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