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Husbands hoist their wives over the finish line at the Downham Games wife carrying competition

PUBLISHED: 18:32 11 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:32 11 June 2017

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

Matthew Usher Photography

Six women were swept off their feet by their partners yesterday in Norfolk’s first ever wife-carrying competition in this year’s Downham Games.

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

With the women clad in safety helmets, the men had to jump over hay bales, braved buckets of water and flour bombs on a 400m obstacle course.

A couple from Marham, 20-year-olds Robbie and Sarah Reid, were crowned the winners. They won the grand prize of a barrel of beer from Two Rivers brewery in Denver, four bottles of local ale, a medal each and a glass trophy.

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

Mrs Reid said: “We didn’t really prepare for this, we practiced the position around the house but only for two minutes.

“It was a lot harder than we expected. I got dropped on the first hay bale it was a bit chaotic.”

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

But Mr Reid said it was determination that got them to the finish line first, adding: “It was a difficult run. I think other people stumbled and we overtook them, the man in the lead dropped his wife 50m from the finish line.”

Asked whether they would compete again, they said: “Next year we will, take our crown back, but not anytime soon.

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

“It was good fun, we’re glad we did it.”

The losers of the race were Richard and Lorraine Sissen, who received a Norfolk and Good trophy with their name engraved on it.

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

Organiser Frances Rayner said: “It went really well, I’m thrilled to bits and it was hilarious. The idea is we’ll have the losers names added to the trophy every year.

“The games get better and better every year, different people come along and the same people come back.

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

“It’s an event for all the family, we see very young children and older children too which is great.” She added.

Over 500 people took part in the Downham Games, which took place at the Memorial Playing Field, now in it’s sixth year.

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017. Picture. Matthew Usher.

Sporty types participated in football, archery, squash, tennis, cricket and athletics, while others took a relaxed approach and spectated in the sunshine.

The games also hosted a tug of war competition between pupils of Downham Market Academy and an outdoor jazzercise session.

Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017 - Winner's Robbie and Sarah Reid. Picture. Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk Wife Carrying competiton held at The Downham Games 2017 - Winner's Robbie and Sarah Reid. Picture. Matthew Usher.

Wife carrying came to the UK in 2007, when a race was run for the first time at Dorking, in Surrey.

Downham Games organisers hope it will become a regular fixture of their event each June.

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