Last Saturday I came across a new topic for our category of weird sports:
In fact, the 24th World Championship in this discipline took place recently in Sonkajärvi, Finland. 34 couples from several nations – including Germany – took part in the competitions. In this race, the men carry their wives upside down on their shoulders, with various obstacles to overcome on the 235.50 metre long track: For example, water basins have to be crossed and stones, wooden beams or bales of straw have to be climbed.
It is said that this competition has its roots in an old custom of the place where at the end of the 19th century it was common to steal women from the neighbouring villages. Of course then you had to run very fast and overcome any obstacles and this would also explain why the women hang upside down on the shoulders of the men.
The winners receive a “prize money” in the form of beer – the equivalent of the woman’s weight in terms of quantity. In addition to speed, there are also the categories “Most Entertaining Couple”, “Best Costume” and “Strongest Wearer”, in which, however, the athletic aspect may take a back seat. 😉
By the way, there are national qualification competitions in many countries to determine the lucky participants of the finals in Finland!
The Latvians Vytautas Kirkliauskas and Neringa Kirkliauskiene were able to beat the competition for the second time this year. Second place went to the Finns Taisto Miettinen and Katja Kovanen, who have already won this race six times.
I am almost tempted to try it out… The obstacles may not match the level of difficulty of the Xletix mud runs, but the women can’t be “discarded” – which definitely makes it more challenging for the men – and it’s not a team race where you help each other out. 😉
However, I wonder if I wouldn’t feel sick if I had to dangle headfirst over the shoulders of my two-legged “mule” over a distance of 235.50 meters and at the same time still keep my posture (difficult if you primarily stretch your booty towards the audience – even the most beautiful smile somehow gets FIBEEER lost)… 😀
But how do we say: No pain, no gain?
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