Run over a course of 380m, with 15m of ascent and 15m of descent. VERY TOUGH!
The UK Wife Carrying Race 2011 was named the UK's Top Adventure Race by Runner's World (February 2012) and was runner up in 2012.
Wife carrying originated in the UK over twelve centuries ago, on 8 June 793AD, when Viking raiders rampaged into Lindisfarne on the northeast coast of what is now England, destroying the monastary and most likely carrying off any unwilling local wenches. Such wife carrying (-off) continued intermittently for around 300 years. Wife Carrying was re-introduced into the UK by the UK Wife Carrying Race in 2008, after an absence from these shores of nearly 900 years.
Sponsors now sought for 2015.
Gaz Davies' photos of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014
Steve Rencontre's photos of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014
More photos of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014
Kevin Hann's Photos of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014
Our short video of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014
Excellent video of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014
Cojo Films' UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 video
Guardian video of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014
UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 on CBBC Newsround - so happy to be on John Craven's old programme!
UK Wife Carrying Race on BBC Breakfast + giggles
Helmet camera (Polaroid XS100) view of the whole of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014, start to finish, in HD - for free use, credit to www.Trionium.com
HD video of the hay bales and wate hazards and winner presentation at the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 - for free use, credit to www.Trionium.com
The UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 from an Italian point of view (+ photos)
UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 on Italian TV, in Italian
UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 on New Zealand TV
The 7th annual UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 was won by Rich Blake Smith, carrying his 'wife' Anna (55kg), narrowly beating Vytautas Kirkliauskas of Lithuania, carrying his wife (actually his wife) Neringa Kirliauskiene (52kg), and covering the 380m course in only 2 minutes in good-to-firm conditions. Rich Blake Smith showed his early class by strongly hurdling the hay bales, but was pushed hard by the Lithuanian, who had previously placed third at the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland. However, Chris said, "I felt him on my shoulder at the half way point and just put the pedal down a bit." Enthusiastic dads with buckets of water, aided and abbetted by water-pistol-packing tots saw to it that all competitors got a refreshing soaking. Rich concluded, "He was still nearly with me at the water hazard - they really gave it to us at with the water buckets as the first ones through - but I had him at the hay bale hurdles. I'm really proud and pleased to have won the UK Wife Carrying Race and a national title." All the participants received a mini-keg of Pilgrim real ale, from the Pilgrim Brewery in Reigate, as well as a medal and Wife Carrying t-shirt. The winners won a barrel of ale and £250 toward competing at the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland in July. Myrienne Amrani carried Herwig Delvaux (they came all the way from Flanders, Belgium), while Chris Haput carried Johanna Gosling - all the way from Germany (you know what I mean). Jack Tappin and Richard Macaulay shared the sausages - for strength - for carrying the heaviest partner, after a dead heat on the weigh-in scales. Race organiser Dr Robert McCaffrey commented, "I took part in the race for the second year running, and it is every bit as tough as billed - you earn your ale. I'm so pleased that we had so many couple turning out to run - a new record of 40 this year - and we all had a fantastic time, mostly laughing our heads off. It is a bizarre race, but you can't help smiling despite the exhaustion. We'll be back again next year, and we're looking forward to it already!"
Discussion thread for UK Wife Carrying Race 2014
HQ: The Priory School , West Bank, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 3DG
International competitors welcome:
"We are looking forward to meet you in England and also to run together with all these beautiful people," Vytautas Kirkliauskas, city of Marijampole, Lithuania.
Competitors from Germany, Lithuania and Belgium already set to attend: Special category (and prizes) for international competitors!
Winner of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 Rich Blake Smith and Hannah
Splash! Matthew Kay and Rachel Winny get a bucket-full at the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014. Photo by Steve Rencontre.
How they do it abroad.... (BBC video)
Homepage of World Championships (Finland)
How to be a Master wife carrier
Only the carrier has to enter the race.
Males or females carry a 'wife' (who must be at least 18 and can be male or female, and does not need to be the carrier's wife). All those carried must wear a helmet.
There is a weigh-in prior to the start: All 'wives' must weigh at least 50kg. Anyone under-weight will be obliged to wear a rucksack filled with tins of baked beans or similar to bring them to the required weight.
All entrants will start off at the same time, and the first over the line is the winner. However, there will be time penalties for dropping the 'wife.'
Obstacles and water hazards will be included. Spectators are encouraged to attend with their own water-pistols and buckets of water to staff the 'Splash Zone' (return leg only - something for the competitors to look forward to!).
Last placed finishers receive the ceremonial Pot Noodle and dog food.
The carrier who completes the course with the heaviest wife will win a pound of sausages (for strength) and a ceremonial pat on the back from the other carriers.
You can use any one of the many recognised holds: bridal carry, piggy-back, shoulder-ride, fireman's carry (across the shoulders), the well-recognised and very fast Estonian Hold (wife hangs upside-down on man's back, legs crossed in front of the man's face) or the not-so-fast but unique Dorking Hold (the reverse Estonian).
*Winners of the UK race who go on to become participants in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland are requested to provide a write-up and photos to the UK race.
UK Wife Carrying Race race instructions - you will not receive anything in the post.
Remember, Wife Carrying is a potentially dangerous activity, which could result in injury and/or death. You take part in the race at your own risk!
If you can't take part, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know (I'm always interested to know why as well - last year we had two wives who had become pregnant by the day of the race).
The race will take place on the Nower, in Dorking, but the race HQ is at The Priory School, West Bank, Dorking, Surrey RH4 3DG. It is a three minute walk to the race start from the HQ. Park at the school.
Firstly, park up and make your way to the registration area. There you will be able to pick up your race t-shirt (carriers and wives both) and your race number (carriers only).
We ask all competitors to wear their t-shirts during the race.
Carriers, when you fix your race numbers to your shirt, please don't obscure the lovely race logo. Please bring four safety pins.
The race weigh-in will be at the HQ starting at 9.30. All 'wives' must weigh at least 50kg. If you don't weigh 50kg, bring something (rucksack full of bags of sugar for example) to bring you up to the minimum weight. Those under 50kg may be re-weighed on the start line.
All of those being carried must wear a helmet. No helmet, no race!
We have 50 entrants this year, a record, including entrants from France, Lithuania and Germany.
Anyone using the Dorking Hold (the reverse Estonian hold), also known as wife carrying position No. 69, will inevitably gain the limelight, if not any extra speed.
There will be a special prize of a pound of sausages for the carrier of the heaviest wife - who completes the course - for strength. Honour and fame be upon them.
The race will start at 10.30. There will be hay-bay hurdles, and on the way back there will be the water hazard - buckets of cold water and water pistols.
If you drop the 'wife' you must both take three steps backwards before remounting.
Tips - grippy shoes (trail shoes for example) might help. The 380m-total course is 15m uphill to half way (steepening) and back down to the finish. A belt on the carrier may give the 'wife' something to grip on to. The Estonian Hold is generally the fastest, but the shoulder-ride could also be effective. Do practice before the race if you can. The race takes from 2 minutes (winners) to 4 minutes (last-placers) so it will be over in a flash! Keep smiling!
We will have a small awards ceremony at the end of the race. All finishers receive a minikeg of Pilgrim ale, while the winners receive a barrel of ale (and £250 towards their participation in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland in the summer). Last-placed finishers receive the ceremonial tin of dog food and a Pot Noodle.
Remember to smile… there may be TV crews and press photographers, so this is your moment in the world spotlight!
Mega-Congratulations to UK Wife Carrying Champion 2013 Matt Witko and partner Hattie Archer for taking bronze place (on their first attempt) in the World Wife Carrying Championships 2013 in Sonkajärvi, Finland!
Well done to everyone who turned out today to run in the snow! I (race director) ran it for the first time and loved it!
Matt Witko and 'wife' Lindsey Finn won in convincing style. National Champions!
Wife Carrying on ITV with Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby (June 2013)
UK Wife Carrying Race Video 2013
UK Wife Carrying Photos 2013
Steve Rencontre's excellent Wife Carrying Race photos 2013
UK Wife Carrying Race on the BBC
UK Wife Carrying Race in The Metro
|1||33||MATT||WITKO||31||ROYAL ENGINEERS RC|
|8||31||CARL||TUCKER||25||CHERWELL RUNNERS AND JOGGERS|
|18||28||RICHARD||SNELL||45||STUBBINGTON GREEN RUNNERS|
|20||1||PAUL||BUNCH||46||ISTEAD AND IFEILD HARRIERS|
|22||29||ANDREW||TOMLINSON||49||STUBBINGTON GREEN RUNNERS|
|23||22||STEPHANIE||MCGOVERN||21||BBC - Carrying Mike Bushell (heaviest wife)|
The 5th UK Wife Carrying Race, in Dorking, Surrey, has been won by Tom Wilmott (31) and his (real) wife Kirsty, both of Ipswich, at the second time of trying, in a time of 2:06.
At least two couples didn't make it to the start line on account of becoming pregnant prior to race day.
The race is over a course of 380m, and includes hay bale hurdles and a drenching from spectators armed with buckets of water and water pistols.
Competitors benefit from the inclined course (at least it is 15m downhill in the second half, when your legs are starting to get tired....!)
The winning couple won a barrel of beer, as well as the chance to represent Britain at the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland in July.
All competitors won mini-kegs of Pilgrim Ale, while the last-place finishers won the ceremonial Pot Noodle (chicken flavour in 2012) and tin of dog food (and ale!).
UK Wife Carrying Race Photos 2012
UK Wife Carrying Race victors on ITV
UK Wife Carrying Race Photos 2011
The 4th UK Wife Carrying Race took place on Sunday 6 March 2011, featuring a course of around 250m, and including around 10m of acent and descent.
A total of 17 brave couples (including one all-male and one all-female team) competed in 2011, making this the largest ever field assembled for wife-carrying in the UK.
The race was won by Sam Trowbridge (23) and his bride-to-be Nathalie, in a fine time of 1:50.64, just three second outside of the course record.
Thanks to all valiant participants!
Eight couples managed to complete the course - John Lund and his partner broke the course record (despite coming a cropper at the straw bale hazard on the way out) and finished in 1:47.38.
Thanks to everyone who ran/carried/was carried.
The UK Wife Carrying Race 2010 - YouTube
UK Wife Carrying Photos 2010
2nd UK Wife Carrying Race 2009
Well, that was fun!
The 2nd UK Wife Carrying Race and the Leith Hill Half Marathon brought competitors to Dorking from across the country and from around the world on Sunday 8 March 2009. The races aid a number of local charities including the Rainbow Trust and Rianna's Fund, and are sponsored by the Pilgrim Brewery in Reigate. The races are also supported by Dorking and Mole Valley Athletic Club. The races take place with the kind permission of the Surrey Wildlife Trust and the National Trust.
(YouTube Video of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2008 thanks to Chris O'C)
The First UK Wife Carrying Race - 2008
The first UK Wife Carrying Race has been staged in Dorking, on 9th March 2008. The race is modelled on popular races in the Finland, Estonia and the US.
UK Wife Carrying Race 2008 Video (Quicktime, 20Mb)
Three brave couples took part: Joel Hicks and Wendy Cook, Ian and Kath Phillips, and Kevin Bailey and Kim Lowe. Joel opted for the transverse fireman's carry, while the other two couples went for the classic piggyback. Joel Hicks (a veteran fundraiser who had travelled from Hinkley, Leicestershire, in order to take part) was dressed as a baby, complete with nappy and fetching blue connet.
Joel took an early lead, and hardly slowed down to walk until the climb to the half way high point, whereupon he accelerated away again, leaving the other two couples jostling for second place. Joel - a well-built young gent, to say the least - sprinted home in just 1 minute 59 seconds for the 200m course, although Kevin Bailey was a close-run second in 2:13. Ian jogged in a breathless but happy third, to win the last-placer's Pot Noodle, in 2:30.
At the winner's weigh-in, Joel and Wendy weighed in at an impressive 153kg: the prize money was £1/kg of combined weight. Joel and Wendy kindly suggested that the prize money should be donated to the Rainbow Children's Hospice.
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wife at trionium dot com