Get set for the Norfolk wife carrying championships
PUBLISHED: 10:26 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:24 22 March 2017
Husbands will be under starters orders to run off with their wives this summer.
For the Finnish sport of wife carrying is heading to the deepest Fens for the first time.
Competitors at June’s Downham Market Games will have to carry a woman around a 400m obstacle course.
Prizes include a barrel of beer for the winning couple and a pound of sausages for the man carrying the heaviest woman, regardless of where they come in the race.
Peter Duhig, one of the organisers of the annual games, said that the idea came from supporter Ellie Alderson after an appeal for suggestions for new sports which could be included at the event.
“I thought it would be a real spectacle which would bring people in, it would be a great laugh, so I said I would organise it if they wanted it to happen,” he said.
Mr Duhig contacted the organisers of the UK Wife Carrying Championships, which are held in Dorking, Surrey, each year for information on the rules of the event.
While they stipulate a 50kg minimum weight for the wife, competitors do not actually have to be married.
All of those being carried must wear safety helmets, while anyone who drops their wife must take three steps backwards as a penalty before rejoining the race.
“They’ll do a 400m circuit around the bottom of the football field,” he said. “There’s a slight incline. There’ll also be a chicane, a hay bale jump and a water hazard.”
As organisers are unable to dig out a water hazard on the course, this elwment will consist of people throwing buckets of water over competitors as they pass, followed by a barrage of flour bombs.
Everyone taking part in the race will receive a T-shirt, a medal and small container of beer. There are other consolation prizes.
The games are being held on the Downham Memorial Fields on Sunday, June 11 (1.30pm).
As well as wife carrying, there will be more conventional sports on offer like running races, football and rounders.
To enter the wife carrying, click here.
Organisers are also looking for a couple to become the public face of the event and appear in media coverage beforehand.