Couples go the distance in the annual Wife-Carrying Championships

Credit: The Daily Mail

The saying ‘putting relationships to the test’ takes on a whole new meaning at an unusual race, where a husband has to complete an intense obstacle course while carrying his wife.

Men from across the globe sprinted along a track with their other halves clinging onto their backs at this year’s Wife Carrying World Championships, according to the Daily Mail.

This year, 53 men slung their wives or partners over their shoulders and hurtled off on an hour-long race in the small Finnish town of Sonkajarvi on Saturday, as thousands of fans cheered from the stands.

The World Wife-Carrying Championship, now in its 23rd year, draws thousands of visitors to the town of 4,200 and has gained followers across the world.

The idea of wife-carrying as a sport was inspired by the 19th century legend of Ronkainen the Robber, who tested aspiring members of his gang by forcing them to carry sacks of grain or live pigs over a similar course.

On Saturday, Lithuanian Vytautas Kirkliauskas and Neringa Kirkliauskiene won the race which involved running, wading through a slippery pool and getting through an obstacle course.

The two, who first competed in Sonkajarvi in 2005, defeated six times world champion Taisto Miettinen, a Finn.

‘It’s my wife,’ Kirkliauskas shouted happily after the race, ‘She’s the best.’

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