The 13th UK Wife Carrying Race

10.30am Saturday 29 February 2020

The Nower, Dorking

Twitter: #ukwifecarryingrace

UK Wife Carrying Race 2020 - Entry now open

Wife carrying can be a dangerous activity, which can lead to any one or more of the following injuries: slipped disk, broken legs and arms, limb dislocations, neck and spinal damage, facial injury, skull fracture, hernias, and other sundry injuries and illnesses, and potentially including death.

But please don't let this put you off!

UK Wife Carrying Race Instructions

Entrants in 2019 will be able to pick up the UK Wife Carrying running vest (instead of a t-shirt). All entrants to wear this vest during the race - Ladies may wish to wear something underneath the running vest during the race, to avoid wardrobe malfunctions.

Run over a course of 380m, with 15m of ascent and 15m of descent. VERY TOUGH!

In 2019, the UK Wife Carrying Race intends to send a squad of athletes to compete in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland in July 2019. The first five pairs of British finishers will be automatically selected - although any other finishers will also be welcome to join in! British participants at the Worlds will be self-funded.

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.

HQ: The Priory School , West Bank, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 3DG

How they do it abroad.... (BBC video)

Homepage of World Championships (Finland)

How to be a Master wife carrier

UK Wife Carrying Race Rules

Only the carrier has to enter the race.

Males or females carry a 'wife' (who must be alive, human, at least 18 years old, 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, flour, water 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.

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!).

The winner of the UK Wife Carrying Race will win a barrel of local Ale (worth £150).

The first-placed British finishers will win £250 towards their expenses in representing Britain and competing in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland in July.*

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.

The oldest carrier will receive the tin of pilchards and jar of Bovril 'you know, from before the war.'

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.

"Do you like Dorking?" "I don't know, you naughty boy, I've never tried!"


Wife Carrying World Championships 2019: Team GB on tour!
By Robert McCaffrey, organiser of the UK Wife Carrying Race.

Homepage for World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland

Below: Highlights of the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland, July 2019


Below: MY Wife Carrying Championships...

Click below to see photos on Flickr

Wife Carrying World Championships 2019

The winners of the UK Wife Carrying Race, Christopher Hepworth and Tanisha Prince, decided in 2019 to return to Sonkajärjvi, 500km north of Helsinki, to try to achieve a podium finish in the World Championships, after having finished sixth in 2018.

So it was that the couple - who became engaged at the prize-giving of the UK race when Chris proposed in front of the world’s assembled press - met with Chris’ parents Penny and Tony and with UK race organiser Robert McCaffrey for an early-morning flight from London Heathrow to Helsinki on Thursday 4th July 2019. The five of us then travelled north in convoy (spotting a pair of Cranes on the way), stopping once mid-way and at the local supermarket in Sonkajärvi, to arrive at a lovely modern Scandinavian cottage by a lake and stream at 9pm. A swiftly-prepared spaghetti bolognese was soon polished-off, followed by a spot of midnight birdwatching (including some noisy Common sandpipers). Daylight is continuous, and midnight is marked only by a slight dimming in light levels. The merciless mosquitos took advantage of the long days and operated on a 24-hour basis.

On Friday 5th July, we breakfasted and then Chris and I went for a run together in the heat of the day (the run was an easy one for him and a hard one for me). We spotted Woodcock and Lapwing during the run. On our return, we all headed to the lake for a swim in the refreshing waters, which were the colour of Guinness, and which were so dark that you could not see your finger-tips at extended arm’s length. I went for an additional bird-walk, and spotted several Redwings and a Scarlet rosefinch (a lifetime first sighting). Eschewing lunch, we headed into Sonkajärvi to take part in the sprint competition.

The Wife Carrying World Championships probably need some words of explanation. Back in 1992, the municipality decided to resurrect an old folk tale of a local forest-dwelling robber, who was said to steal wives from some of the villages nearby. A wife-carrying course was progressively built at the side of the athletics track of the local high school, complete with spectator seating, a winding 250m cinder track, 5x10m ‘water pool,’ and movable log-based hurdles. The event now attracts competitors from various national races around the world, but the majority of competitors are still Finnish, with a strong contingent from the Baltic countries. The event is the largest thing that happens in the village of Sonkajärvi, population 4000, and is a major fund-raiser for local causes. The event starts on the Friday with a ‘sprint’ competition, which has a distance of 100m and which includes the pool, but does not include the log-hurdles.

Only six couples had elected to take part, and the crowd was a little thin, but we gave it a go. We went in pairs. My first local wife was Reeka, a smiley lass of 23 years and 62kg. We carefully stepped down into the pool, but then her momentum carried her onwards and we toppled over (I was carrying her in the shoulder-ride). As planned, she floated off and I gave a few swimming strokes to get me towards the end of the pool. She re-mounted me, piggy-back style, but unfortunately before I had managed to get to my feet. This meant that she rode me like a little horse as I crawled out of the pool. My hands got covered in cinders, so I decided to jump back into the pool to retrieve them, during which plunge I lost my glasses. The crowd enjoyed this unusual scene, with one little girl in the stands nearly wetting herself with laughter. A frogman was sent in to retrieve the glasses, but I decided not to hang around. Reeka was soon remounted on my shoulders, and I jogged along the rest of the course without incident, playing to the crowd and enjoying the cheers. We finished dead last.

Chris and Tanisha, however, did rather better. They were fast enough to qualify for the final, with the other three fastest couples. During the final of the sprint, there was a mad melee in the pool, during which elbows were used. However, they emerged well, just behind the Finnish multiple-winner of the race who managed to hold off Chris to take the win once more, by a whisker. The Brits were happy enough with silver.

We returned back to the cottage and had a fantastic barbecue, with a few beers and a slathering of bug-spray.

Finally, on Saturday 6th July, the ‘real’ championships arrived. I met my second local ‘wife,’ Venla, a friendly local horticultural worker, who was 28 years old and just a tad over 60kg. The event starts off with a parade of tractors, which is quite a spectacle since the unusual models on show include some of the old farmers driving them.

As a prelude to the main event, a relay race takes place, with a ‘wife’ being conveyed over the full course (including pool and log hurdles) by a team of three. At each changeover, the carrier has to drink a bottle of fizzy pop, which makes for a somewhat stop-start race. Six teams took part, five of them finishing within five seconds of each other. However, the winners (who had won the relay five times previously and who train especially for the race) were 45 seconds quicker than the second-placed team. They were not the slimmest competitors, one of them weighing 145kg, but they absolutely went for it and also drank their pop much quicker than the other teams. That they were all dressed as superheroes made their victory all the more impressive.

By the time of the main race, there was a real buzz, with up to around 1500 spectators. 30 pairs of competitors milled around, scoping each other out and making new friends. There were a number of good costumes on display, including lederhosen from Austria and national dress from Croatia and there was also an immense ‘Hagar-like’ Viking. I was kitted out in traditional Union-Jack running shorts, and cape, and comedy Scottish cap and wild ginger hair. We spotted a few familiar faces from around town and from previous competitions, and prepared for the ‘parade of nations.’ All the competitors paraded in wonderful warm sunshine at 2.45pm, but storm clouds were on the horizon. As it says on the event’s web site, “The weather will be traditional Finnish weather: so all you need to bring with you is bikinis or speedos, sun lotion, insect repellant, umbrella, winter coat and mittens.” As the main race approached, the heavens opened, with heavy rain coming down for the duration of the races, only stopping as soon as the last race was over.

Competitors run against each other in pairs, in more-or-less random order, albeit with last year’s winner going last. Chris and Tanisha were drawn with a very fast guy from Finland, who was just ahead of them as they leapt into the pool. Chris very nearly landed on top of him, and there was a bit of thrashing around in the pool before they both emerged. The Finn was obviously a strong runner, and Chris seemed not to catch him up as they neared the first log hurdle. Then there is an interminable stretch with a sharp turn, during which time Chris drew nearly level: over the last hurdle they went with the Finn slightly in the lead, although Chris was certainly catching him. As they came to the line, Chris lunged but at the same time tripped, landing with part of him over the line, but not his partner. The timer was only stopped when Tanisha remounted and Chris carried her fully over the line. At this point they knew they had not got the gold, but their placing depended on the speed of the other competitors.

A couple of heats later, I went off with my new ‘wife,’ Venla, once again in the shoulder-carry hold (since she was wearing a helmet with a video camera on top). We steeped into the pool more carefully, but once again, my wife toppled forward like a breaking wave on a beach. This time I managed to get her onto my shoulders before rising from the pool and I was very pleased to carry her out. We were not far behind our opponents, but I struggled badly up the small incline up to the first log hurdle, huffing and puffing from the strain. I used an unusual reverse-buttock-rotation-twist move to get over the hurdle, on account of my short legs, and it worked well. I puffed my way around the course, reverse-buttocking the next hurdle, and trying to encourage the crowd alongside Venla, as we finished the course in good style. We finished in 2:28, less than a second behind one Finnish couple and a full 45 seconds ahead of another pair. We were 30th out of 31, but we were not last! We were unofficially awarded ‘most stylish pair’ for the unusual shoulder-carry position.

Back at the sharp end of the competition, the previous multiple winners from Finland were able to edge Chris and Tanisha into third place, before last-year’s winners, Vytautas and his wife Neringa, from Lithuania, won the event in 1:06:72, just 0.1 seconds ahead of second place, edging our couple into fourth.

The entire event has taken an hour, during which time the rain had been unrelenting. We went back to the spectators’ stands to find Tony and Penny, Chris’ parents, soaked to the skin.

At the impressive and well-organised awards ceremony, Chris and Tanisha were able to pick up their silver medal, for their run in the sprint race on Friday, as well as armfuls of local swag. There was a great deal of post-race jollity, with Venla and myself meeting other competitors in the local pub, before we went to a civic reception (‘free beers!’) in the spectacular local library. An ABBA band played in the Wife Carrying Party hall, with plenty of Finnish beer being drunk. We skipped off a little early, and had a sauna back at the cottage, before having a midnight feast of roast potatoes and cold sausages. Delicious, and the perfect end to the day.

On Sunday 7th July, we set off at 10am to drive the 500km back to Helsinki in convoy once more, before saying our respective goodbyes. It had been a fabulous four days, and we certainly packed in a lot. Chris and Tanisha say that they will be back for another go next year: Good luck to them!


UK Wife Carrying Race participant starts wife-carrying race in Colombia: 'Cargando la esposa'

Monica Rodas, a Colombian several-times competitor in the UK Wife Carrying Race, has proudly announced that she will organise the first ever 'Cargando la Esposa' in Colombia on 21st September 2019.


The 12th UK Wife Carrying Race

10.30am 3 March 2019

The Nower, Dorking


Congratulations to newly-crowned UK Wife -Carrying Champions and newly-engaged Chris Hepworth and Tanisha Prince!

Chris Lamb and Becky Lamb's race write-up 2019 - so close!

Steve Rencontre's photos UK Wife Carrying Race 2019

Steve Rencontre's UK Wife Carrying Race/Leith Hill Half 2019 Photo-Story

View Dave Painter's excellent video of the (soggy) day

UK Wife Carrying Race 2019 on Surrey Live

UK Wife Carrying in the Daily Mail

Great video from NVT Russia on the UKWife Carrying Race 2019 (in Russian!)

Some guys called Zac and Jay posted a video about the UK Wife Carrying Race 2019

Wife Carrying Race auf Deutschland...


Above: That's how we roll... in Dorking. Nick Elvidge carries Jess Simmonds in the Dorking Hold (also known as the Reverse Estonian Hold) at the UK Wife Carrying Race, Dorking, 3 March 2019. TOTAL RESPECT!

Below: UK Wife Carrying Race 2019 approximate finish order. Please email corrections to

Position Number First name Last name Age 'Wife' (the person being carried) full name From
1 10 Chris Hepworth 28 Tanisha Prince West Drayton
2 16 Chris Lambert   Rebecca Lamb  
3 8 Peter Gornall 27 Solveig Oma London
4 37 Dave Williams 41 Michelle Gibbs Devon
5 27 Richard Parker 26 Rebecca Glanville Slough
6 20 Nicola Maguire 40 Nicola Maguire Alderley edge
7 23 Michael Miller 27 Naomi Walters Nottingham
8 9 William Hall   Becky Hodgson  
9 5 Paulo Da Silva 39 Natalja Sujetina Gillingham
10 15 Tarran Kent-Hume 33 Stacey Cowen London
11 29 Nick Pisacano 32 Christie Pisacano London
12 28 Jonathan Pinder 39 Shelley hughes York
13 12 Jeremy Holmes 56 Louise McKee Dinas Powys
14 17 Griff Lambert 34 Beth Lambert Seattle
15 4 Maria Burton 38 Maria Cardiff
16 24 Gaz Morris 38 Heather Paterson Guildford
17 32 Daniel Rodas 33 Monica Rodas Esher
18 26 James Parker 26 Meghan clarkson Thornton-cleveleys
19 14 Andrew Jones 48 Emma Jones Exmouth
20 6 Nick Elvidge   Jess Simmonds  
21 21 Robert McCaffrey 51 Claire Whittaker Ashtead
22 19 Megan Lennox 44 Jan Wan Surrey
23 35 David Servat 46 Dena Emonds Bigby
25 36 David Webster 27 Rebecca Webster Staines-Upon-Thames
26 33 Jaime Rodas 33 Cristina Hatfield
27 30 Jamie Rawsthorne 24 Max Fosh London
28 7 Dan Genders 34 Charlotte Genders Birmingham
29 11 Joel Hicks 40 Joelene Hicks Leicestershire
30 22 Mike Meakin 55 Karen Usher Harrogate
No position recorded 1 Zac Alsop 23 Simone Stewart London
No position recorded 3 Luke Beal 44 Jennie Beal Surrey
No position recorded 34 Tom Scott 30 Tom Scott Milford


Congraultations to Vytautas and Neringa Kirliauskas of Lithuania, frequent (tough) competitors at the UK Wife Carrying Race in Dorking, who have won the World Wife Carrying Championships 2018 in Finland!

Photo Credit: Eukonkanto - World Wife Carrying Championships 2018, Finland, picutre by Hannu Keränen

Chris Hepworth and Tanisha Prince (winners in Dorking in 2018) were 5th overall - good effort!


UK Wife Carrying Race Winners Chris Hepworth and Tanisha Prince - Our World Wife Carrying Championships Trip 2018!

Chris Hepworth's WWCR-2018 photos

An amazing 2018 World Wife Carrying Championships saw us finishing fifth, just two seconds off a medal, as well as claiming silver in the relay race!

Our journey started with a flight to Helsinki, as we decided to make a little holiday of the trip and spend some time experiencing Finland. We stayed our first night in Helsinki, in a hotel which has no staff and is all done through number code entry, which was something a little different. The next day we hired a car from the outskirts of the city and took to the road on a 6 hour drive.

We drove to the race in Sonkajärvi on Route 5, nicknamed 'The Road of Death', due to its high traffic accident statistics. It didn't live up to the name though, as it was a relatively quiet and peaceful road cutting through the beautiful Finnish countryside. We arrived in our campsite in Hirvijärvi the day before the first day of the event and stayed in a log cabin in the woods, which was very basic, but also very quaint and really grew on us for the three nights we stayed there.

The next day we headed to the Championships to take part in the sprint race. The venue was a mini festival style, set-up over a gravel athletics track. There was numerous market stalls, traditional Finnish food, a large bar and a big stage for the Wife Carrying Karaoke and the Finnish Eurodance pop that was on show in the evenings. The course finished on the track and had a one metre deep, ten metres long pool and two log jumps and a couple of tight bends.

The sprint race was only 100m long, with the one water jump and the couple of tight bends. Unfortunately this race didn't go very well as we were torn between running or jumping into the water and we made the wrong choice, slipping badly, causing us to basically drown for a few seconds. We managed to get through to the end, but lost far too much time to qualify out of the heats.

The benefit of competing in this race, was that we met a Swiss pairing (the winners of the sprint race) and were reunited with a former UK Wife Carrying Champion, John Lund, who we competed against in this year's UK race. After the sprint race finished, we all decided to team up to compete in the Wife Carrying World Championships Relay Race the next day.

There was eight teams taking part in the relay race and we were the only non Finnish team (Team British Alps). The race took place over the full 253.5m course, with three men relaying one wife (Tanisha got the call up over the other 'wives'). You have to run your leg, then put the 'wife' down, drink a bottle of 330ml sparkling water as fast as possible (used to be beer, but it's been changed so that anyone can take part) and then the next 'husband' can pick up the wife.

We won our heat of two teams comfortably, however we didn't realise that once the last leg runner finished their drink, they have to pick the wife back up and run the one metre to cross the finish line. By the time John realised what the Finnish speaking officials were saying, we lost about 5 seconds. This time lost ended up meaning that we just missed out on winning, to the team dressed up as Mario Kart characters. However, it was a great laugh and we got a lovely medal and some cool prizes out of it.

A few hours later we took to the course in the main race, which is split up into heats of three people, with the times making up the finishing positions. We had learnt from the sprint race to sprint fast up to the water and jump as far as possible into the water. This worked very well and gave us a good start, although we did still slip a lot on the way out of the water. We then had to negotiate the two log hurdles and two tight bends.

We won our heat and were the fastest time at that point in the competition, with half the field left to race. However, the last few heats were stacked with fast competitors, including the frequent UK Wife Carrying Competitors from Lithuania, Vytautas and Neringa Kirliauskas and the six time World Wife Carrying Champion, Taisto Miettinen. Vytautas and Neringa got their revenge on us, after we defeated them at the UK race, as they destroyed us and the rest of the field to take an impressive win, with Taisto finishing in second and our Swiss relay partners in third and us in fifth place in a time of 1:12.72.

It was an amazing experience to take part in this event, competing in front of a packed crowd of a couple of thousand people, and making some great friends, who I'm sure we will keep in contact with. Competing at this Championships was one of the best experiences we have ever had as a couple, and we would recommend to all of the UK wife carriers, no matter what your level, to give it a go, you won't regret it! We will definitely be going back next year for more wife carrying fun, and hopefully... an individual medal!



The 11th UK Wife Carrying Race

8 April 2018

Tough conditions in 2018 - slippery when wet!

UK Wife Carrying Race 2018 on the BBC

Dave Painter's excellent film of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2018

Steve Rencontre's great photos of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2018

Movie of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2018 on ITV's This Morning

Tim Elsey's nice short video of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2018

UK Wife Carrying Race 2018 on Australian TV

Video of UK Wife Carrying Race 2018 (Kingston Courier)

UK Wife Carrying Race movie on Euronews (inc. footage of spectacular winner's dive over the line)


Race report: In wet and slippery conditions, around 40 couples took part in the 11th UK Wife Carrying Race, with participants from around the UK, as well as from the US and Lithuania. About half-a-dozen 'contenders' had a good chance of winning, but the conditions did not suit everyone. In fourth place was multiple North American Wife Carrying champion John Lund and his partner Paris Deesing. In third place was Vytautas Kirkliauskas and his partner Neringa Kirkliauskiene, from Lithuania, making their third attempt at the title and narrowly missing out. In second place was Chris Lamb and partner Rebecca Lamb, another multiple entrant and very unlicky not to carry off the trophy. However, holding off a strong challenge from the other competitors and literally diving over the line for the win, were British couple Chris Hepworth and partner Tanisha Prince from West Drayton, London, in a new course record of 1:37. Chris and Tanisha have vowed to take part in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland in July, and the organisers reckon that they have a good chance of a very good placing. We wish them luck!

Maximum respect to Oliver Elliott and his wife Jodie: Oliver slipped just after the half-way point, putting an arm out to break his fall. Not knowing that he had actually dislocated his shoulder ("I thought I just had a dead arm," he said), Jodie re-mounted, and they continued on to complete the course, finally finishing in fifth place. Oliver then realised that he had a bit more than a 'dead arm' and was treated by medics at the scene. His wife drove him to the local A&E department in Epsom Hospital, where "the medics popped it back in," according to Oliver. The arm and shoulder will be immobilised for a couple of weeks and will take a few months to fully heal. Despite his injury, Oliver is totally up for competing again at the UK Wife Carrying Race - "It was a great day out and a brilliant laugh," he said.

2018 Wife Carrying Race results below

Race update, 19.44, Sunday 8 April:

Direct from Christopher Burke, the husband who slipped and fell in the race, onto his wife Kate Burke, both from Sutton Coldfield: Kate sustained ligament damage and bruising, but she will be okay once she’s rested.

The conditions out on the course were slippery today, and there was an unusual accident where a woman was hurt after her partner slipped on a path of mud and accidentally fell backwards onto her. She was treated by specialisesd medics at the site of the accident, and was taken to a local hospital on a spinal board. She has undergone tests and treatment is ongoing. The organisers wish her a speedy recovery.

Robert McCaffrey, race organiser, said "I was running in the race myself, and found it very hard going, with some slippery areas after this morning’s rain. They were very unlucky to slip and even unluckier to sustain an injury. All partners being carried are required under the race rules to wear a crash helmet, and all competitors are warned that wife carrying - although supposed to be fun - is a potentially dangerous activity."

Epilogue: Wife dropped on her head by her husband during the Wife Carrying Race has fogiven him (Daily Mail)

Below: Results 2018

Position Number Carrier Carried Town
10 36 MONICA RODAS PARTNER Kingston upon Thames
21 44 NIKKI LUCAS Mr Nikki Lucas  
27 46 NIK SPEAKMAN Eva Speakman ITV-land
29 45 DAVID BRAILSFORD Mrs Brailsford  
30 30 ROZ MALIK PARTNER Saffron Walden
No position recorded 14 DARRAN FORD NATALIE ASPELL Epsom
No position recorded 15 JAMES FOREMAN CANNELLE LOIZEAU Walton
No position recorded 37 JUSTIN SCHALL EMILY BOIG London
Retired injured 6 CHRISTOPHER BURKE KATE BURKE Sutton Coldfield



The 10th UK Wife Carrying Race

10.30am 5 March 2017

The 10th UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 has taken place in Dorking Surrey, with 35 couples from all over the UK and even from South Africa and Australia taking part.

The winner of the ‘pound of sausages, for strength’ for carrying the heaviest ‘wife’ (82kg) was Kieran Hughes, who also received, with his partner Tracey Alder, the traditional 'Bombay Bad Boy’ Pot Noodle and tin of Winnalot dog food for coming last. Race organiser Robert McCaffrey won a tin of pilchards and a jar of Bovril for being the oldest wife-carrier in the race, at a youthful 49.

The winners of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 were Jack McKendrick (23) of Pilgrim Fitness, Abergele, carrying his partner Kirsty Jones, both coming from their home in North Wales especially for the event. They have pledged to travel to Finland in the summer to represent the UK in the World Wife Carrying Championships. Chris and Kirsty Lamb were unlucky to finish second for the second year in a row (by just a second!), but have written a great UK Wife Carrying Race write-up on

Great film by Dave Painter of Reuters of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2017

UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 on the BBC

Steve Rencontre's photos of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2017

Trionium's photos of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 on Flikr

UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 in The Sun

Daily Mail Online report on UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 with excellent photos

(The Daily Mail says that this is the 'Most gloriously un-PC sporting event in Britain' - what rubbish! We welcome everyone - from home and abroad, in ALL gender combinations of carrier and 'wife,' married or not, younger and older, lighter and heavier and whether fit or no so fit. This is probably the most 'PC' race in Britain!)

Organiser's helmet-cam video of the race and prize-giving of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 (uploading to YouTube)

Another UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 video

BT''s Alternative take on the UK Wife Carrying Race 2017

UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 in the Surrey Mirror

Discussion thread on UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 (Runner's World)

UK Wife Carrying Race 2017

Above: Eventual winners Jack McKendrick (No. 21), carrying his wife Kirsty Jones, neck-and-neck with fellow competitors at the hay-bale hurdles at the UK Wife Carrying Race 2017 in dorking, Surrey.

Congratulations to Jack McKendrick and Kirsty Jones - UK Wife Carrying Race winners 2017, who competed in the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland on 1 July, and who came 8th out of 45 competitors in 1:15:75. The race was won by the Finnish pair of Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen in 1:08:65.

Our World Wife-Carrying Championships experience
by Jack McKendrick and Kirsty Jones

Due to the remoteness of Sonkajarvi we decided to arrive in the country a couple of days prior to the event and give ourselves a more leisurely drive up from Helsinki. The 3 hour flight was made more entertaining by the fact that the passenger across the aisle from us had brought his dog in the cabin. On landing, the Moomin-themed arrivals lounge kept Kirsty entertained before we got our hire car. From the airport it was only a short drive to the Gustuvland Hotel which was a nice spa hotel on one of the many lakes. During the drive we realised it was midnight and still bright skies! This becomes more of a problem later on.

The next morning our 6 hour drive up towards Sonkajarvi started. Quickly tiring of the motorway, we took to the back roads and tested out the hire car on the non-stop rally stage of loose gravel and tight corners through the forests, searching for any of the moose, lynx or bears that we were sure were in the woods. After a couple of hours of not seeing any, we took a decent hour and a half diversion to visit ‘Moose Manor’ which was advertised as a zoo. Arriving at the small cafe next to two fields housing a few very ill-looking deer, a reindeer and three moose, we enjoyed a moose kebab, a couple of beers and a photo opportunity with the biggest moose. We quickly left and carried on to just outside Kuopio where we planned to camp lakeside and enjoy the Finnish wilderness. Unfortunately, the Finnish wilderness was mainly made up of huge mosquitos that ate me alive but spared Kirsty. Apparently I taste good. We still had an awesome night of skinny-dipping and sunbathing (at 10pm) before we squeezed into our tent and didn't sleep a wink because, of course, it doesn't go dark.

Prepped and ready as any athlete has been for a world championships, we set off to Sonkajarvi, stopping at a supermarket for a sink wash on the way and arrived at a festival-style setup with a track, stands and loads of market stalls. After signing-in we went and checked out the track and met a few other couples competing. The English translator decided to leave at this point and we hung around with a couple of Americans (wife carrying celebrities that are in a wife carrying Netflix film being released in October. Watch out for it!) not really knowing what was going on. After a flag parade where we managed to sneak an extra Union Jack onto the flag poles, couples started racing. When it was our turn, there was a bit of confusion, still no translator and a ninja turtle giving a speech, before a beep out of nowhere that signalled the start. We were off! The water obstacle went fine, with Kirsty being a star and being able to stay with her head underwater as I took forever to get through it, then the sprint was straightforward as there were no hills, unlike the UK race. The only dramas were the two logs that I needed to climb over, whereas the 6' 7" American that came second stepped over them. We still managed to come first in our heat, and eighth overall, with a time of 1 minute 15 seconds. After a few Finnish beers and some pictures with more Americans (they love it) we retired to our hotel which had blackout curtains!! So we finally got a good sleep, before the long drive back to Helsinki the next day.


The 9th UK Wife Carrying Race - 2016

Well done to all finishers - that was a tough one!

Our UK Wife Carrying Race 2016 photos - can be used with credit to Gaz Davies/UK Wife Carrying Race

Steve Rencontre's photos of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2016

UK Wife Carrying Race write-up by Chris Lamb (runner-up 2016)

UK Wife Carrying Race on Get Surrey

UK Wife Carrying Race 2016 discussion

30 couples took part in this year's UK Wife Carrying Race, including entrants from Italy, the USA and South Africa, as well as couples from many parts of Britain who had travelled specifically to Dorking, Surrey, for the race. Two previous winners of the race were carrying wives once again, although this year's sixth placed finishers Tom and Kirsty Wilmot had a good reason for not winning this year - they have had two children since they last won.

The race was competitive this year, with fast times recorded in good conditions. However, America's Jonathan Schwochert (27) and Charlotte Xiong, second-time winners of the UK Wife Carrying Race, triumphed over the field in style, romping home with a 20 second lead over the next place finishers, and setting a new course record of 1:40. They say that they will be heading back to Finland to have a second attempt to win the World Championships - and with form like this, we think that they will have a good chance! (Post script - they didn't make it to Finland - maybe next time?)


Joel Hicks, who astonished spectators in 2015 by carrying a 27-stone, 7' 4" friend called 'Tiny', once again enthralled onlookers by carrying TWO 'wives' - when one is usually enough for any man. He finished dead last, and as a non-drinker awarded the beer kegs to his female companions, but instead was awarded the 'Bombay Bad Boy' Pot Noodle and tin of 'Winnalot' dog food as last placed finisher.


Joel Hicks' fantastic video of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2016 - two-wives, a must-see!


Tony Harris, a stripling of a mere 54, won a jar of Bovril ('You know, from before the war') for being the oldest carrier to finish the race, while Scott Wallace was awarded the pound of sausages, 'for strength,' for carrying the heaviest wife in the race.

Below: Splash Zone action (photo credit Steve Rencontre/ Click on image for full sized version

UK Wife Carrying Race


Splash Zone Carnage at the Wife Carrying Race 2016:

Click on the image below for a full-resolution download: Credit: Rob Irving,

UK Wife Carrying Race 2016


The 8th UK Wife Carrying Race

10.30am March 2015

Trionium UK Wife Carrying Race 2015 discussion

Fantastic video of Joel Hicks carrying 'Tina' in the UK Wife Carrying Race - all 7' 4" (223cm) and 22 stone (140kg) of him!

Fabulous UK Wife Carrying Race 2015 video and winner interview from Bernard Kasparas

2015 UK Wife Carrying Race helmet cam video and prize-giving.

2015 UK Wife Carrying Race Splash Zone and all finishers video

UK Wife Carrying Race 2015 photos (for free use - credit Ian Giles/

Steve Rencontre's fabulous photos - via ftp (mostly for media types...) and Steve's Wife Carrying Race 2015 photos via PhotoBox

Joel Hicks Wife Carrying Photos 2015 - carrying 'Tiny Tina' 140kg (22 stone), 223cm (7'4') and UK Wife Carrying Race write-up in Hinckley Times

Photos and blog by Ellie Hetebrij

Wife Carrying Race photos in the Daily Telegraph

They'll be back - Croydon couple vows to return to the UK Wife Carrying Race and win!

UK Wife Carrying Race on NBC News (US)

UK Wife Carrying Race on 7M News

UK Wife Carrying Race on Get Surrey

UK Wife Carrying Race on Dunya News (Pakistan)

UK Wife Carrying Race video on The Guardian

UK Wife Carrying Race on NowThis News (US)

UK Wife Carrying Race on FoxAtlanta (US)

UK Wife Carrying Race on NBC (US)

UK Wife Carrying Race on NewsNow - Pittsburg (US)

Wife Carrying Indian-style (a very amusing trailer for a Bollywood-style movie with wife-carrying as its climactic finale)

Fantastic weather greeted the 45 couples (a new record) who turned out for the 8th UK wife Carrying Race in Dorking, Surrey, on 8th March 2015. The course is an uphill 190m over hay-bales, followed by a downhill 'sprint' back over the bales but this time being targeted by adults with buckets of water and children with water-pistols. A large crown turned out to watch the fun this year and what fun it was !The 'athletes' sprinted away, hurdling the hay bales, while the rest of the field seemed to take some time to wake up and get into their stride. Once they had warmed up though, some very fast times were recorded, although the fastest of them all was by Jonathon Schwochert (26) originally from the US but now a fully-paid-up Brit, and his partner Charlotte Xiong (51kg), who together beat some very strong challengers and thus become the UK Wife Carrying National Champions. We hope that they will go on to the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland to challenge for the world title. Jonathan is a kick-boxer who added weights to his usual fitness regime, while the two athletes - who met each other in their native Milwaukee - practiced hard for the race. (Organiser's note - if you want to win this race, that's what you have to do - practice!). On account of their American ancestry, their win was picked up by US media, particularly America's best newspaper, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel covering the UK Wife Carrying Race 2015. Despite the winners' convincing finish, several other couples exhibited serious athletic skill and show great promise for future years.

John Griffin won the prize for being the oldest carrier to complete the course - his prize was a jar of Bovril, you know, from before the war. Each year a special prize of a pound of sausages ('for strength') is awarded to the carrier of the heaviest wife, while a ceremonial tin of dog food and Pot Noodle ('Bombay Bad Boy' again in 2015) are awarded to the last placed finishers. This year all these prizes went to Joel Hicks and his partner 'Tiny.' Joel is a well-built guy, but he looked tiny himself next to his carrying partner, since 'Tiny' was 7 foot four inches (223cm) and 22 stone (140kg). Joel was nearly crawling when he finally got to the finish line, surrounded by the resounding cheers of the delirious onlookers - worth it though for his charity fund-raising.We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

The 7th UK Wife Carrying Race

10.30am, Sunday 16 March 2014

Congratulations to UK Wife Carrying Champion 2014 Rich Blake-Smith for taking silver place (missing gold by 0.5 seconds) in the World Wife Carrying Championships 2014 in Sonkajärvi, Finland!


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

Write-up and great video of UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 on

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

HD video of the hay bales and wate hazards and winner presentation at the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 - for free use, credit to

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 couples 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

"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.

Winner of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 Rich Blake Smith and Hannah

Winner of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014 Rich Blake Smith and Hannah

UK Wife Carrying Race 2014

Splash! Matthew Kay and Rachel Winny get a bucket-full at the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014. Photo by Steve Rencontre.

David Evans and Liz Eustace - Competitors in the UK Wife Carrying Race 2014...

"I have complete Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) from the chest down. I was injured in a road traffic accident in South London while commuting home from work by bicycle. During my rehabilitation at The Duchess of Cornwall Spinal Centre, Salisbury, I first met Liz Eustace, an Occupational Therapy student at Bournemouth University. We stayed in touch and ended up together as a couple."

"Myself and my girlfriend Liz both wanted a challenge for us to train with and saw competing in the UK Wife Carrying Race as the perfect opportunity. We were the first couple to enter the race with one of the two unable to walk. We ran to raise funds for The Back Up Trust. We feel it is important to demonstrate that there is life after SCI, that people are able to be happy and successful in achieving their goals, and that pity should not be the default emotive response to those with SCI."

"The race was the perfect opportunity to do so and also a fantastic experience and brilliant thing to have been involved with. We both loved the humour of the event and will be looking to race again but next time we will roping in some friends!"

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!

6th UK Wife Carrying Race 2013

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

Discussion 2013

Local coverage

Results 2013

Position No. Firstname Surname Age Team
2 30 SAM TROWBRIDGE 26 Former winners...
4 12 JOHN GRADDON 40  
5 35 DAVID GOULD 30  
6 23 TOBIAS MEWS 35  
7 15 TOM IRVING 27  
10 24 GREGG POWELL 47  
12 34 OWEN WYN-JONES 34  
14 11 NICK GOSLING 48  
15 27 DUNCAN SMITH 29  
23 22 STEPHANIE MCGOVERN 21 BBC - Carrying Mike Bushell (heaviest wife)

The 5th UK Wife Carrying Race

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

4th UK Wife Carrying Race 2011

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!

3rd UK Wife Carrying Race 2010

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.

In the Wife Carrying Race, six couples (who did not need to be married) raced over a course of around 250m, with a slight incline to the half way point and a 'sprint' back down to the finish. The winning couple, Matt Evans and Jatinder Gill adopted the exotic-looking 'Estonian' hold, and romped home in a new course record of 1 minute and 51 seconds. The winners won their combined weight in beer from the Pilgrim Brewery - a liver-testing 120kg-worth. While the other finishers won themselves beer vouchers, the last couple to finish, Simon Bickerstaff and Louise Piears, won themselves a tin of dog food and a pot noodle.

UK Wife Carrying Race 2009 Photos

(YouTube Video of the UK Wife Carrying Race 2008 thanks to Chris O'C)

RW Discussion on the 2009 races

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)

UK Wife Carrying Race 2008 Photos

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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