Couples compete in wife-carrying obstacle course in Hungary


TAPIOBICSKE, Hungary (NewsNation Now) — A group of husbands carried their wives through the mud and over hills in an obstacle course race in Hungary this weekend.

Saturday’s race in the eastern village of Tapiobicske was the first one to be held in Hungary. The race is popular among Estonians, Lithuanians and Scandinavians, although some find it controversial.

Dozens of couples braved a 260-meter hilly course featuring a water splash zone among other obstacles.

The race this weekend had two rounds and the final competition was held between the top four couples.

The winners said they were very proud of their achievement and would love to be able to enter a world championship.

“There are many competitions where people have to carry some sort of weight, for example sandbags, tires or other heavy stuff,” said David Viczina, the race’s organizer. “We thought it would be more stylish if a competitor carries his wife instead of weights and in the meantime, he can bathe her in mud and race with her in various light soils.”

The first ever wife-carrying competitions were held in Finland in the 1990s.

The idea was inspired by a 19th century legend about an outlaw who tested the courage and force of his gang of robbers by making them run though an obstacle track with women on their backs.

The sport has since gained popularity among enthusiasts around the world.

“We have changed the distance a little, the Scandinavian race is a little shorter, the Canadian one a little longer, our distance is in-between, which fits our race course,” Viczina said. “The other difference is that we do not make a rule whether the head of the wife should be up or down, so competitors have a free choice regarding the position.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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