Win a race carrying your wife, or at least someone pretending to be your wife, and you could win your weight in beer.
This typically Finnish pastime took place prior to the start of the Leith Hill Half Marathon in Surrey this morning. 6 couples entered the 200m ‘Sprint’, one of two courses on offer, with a rise of about 5m up to the half way point and then back. (There was little interest for a flatter, but much longer 1km course called the ‘Challenge’.) Few rules were laid down. You didn’t need to be a wife or a husband to your partner, but all those carried had to wear a helmet, and drop her and you’d face time penalties. Now, wife or no wife, time penalties were likely be the least of your problems, as any fall was unlikely to do enough damage to prevent some sort of retaliation!
Each couples strategy may well have been the key to a winning performance. There are several tried and tested techniques for carrying a wife, as displayed here. The piggyback, the fireman’s lift and the Estonian. Today’s winners Jaitinder Gill and Matt Evans (they are married by the way, but she kept her name) were the only one’s to employ the Estonian. It may look ridiculous, and you have to get very close to your partner’s bottom, but it’s clearly very effective.