King’s Lynn couple Mark and Abby Scamell set to enter Norfolk Wife Carrying Championships at Downham Market Games.
- Credit: Ian Burt
A woman from King's Lynn will be swept off her feet and riding off into the sunset by her husband, straight into water buckets and flour bombs.
Mark Scamell, 25, and Abby Scamell, 26, are making it their mission to win Norfolk's first-ever wife carrying championship, when the bizarre Scandinavian sport sweeps into the Downham Market Games this summer.
Mr Scamell said he heard about the competition on the radio, adding: 'I mentioned it to Abby half expecting her to say no. We haven't done any training and we'll probably not win, but it's pretty fun just to do something different.'
Mrs Scamell has a black belt in karate and kickboxing, but despite being the sportier of the two she will not be doing any heavy-duty work.
She added: 'I'm more of the sporty type but I don't think I have the strength to carry him.'
Organiser Frances Rayner said the idea for a wife-carrying competition came from a suggestion made by the public on their Facebook page.
She said: 'In January we asked what sports they'd like to see and somebody put something on there about this. We can fit up to a hundred couples but we'll be happy with 10. I'm always excited for the games, it's coming round really fast.'
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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,' organisers have 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 element 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, go to facebook.com/DownhamGames