Kerry set to host wife-carrying championship

Photo gallery: Wife carrying competitions around the world: CLICK HERE

Irish men will find cathartic release this summer by throwing the missus over the back and jumping over a few fences against other intensely motivated males.

It’s all happening in Sneem County Kerry on July 25 when the Paddy Power second annual Irish Wife Carrying Championship takes place.

The race takes place over a course just over 250 meters long, with two dry obstacles and one wet one - three temptations for those husbands who might care to drop some baggage along the way.

The only equipment husbands can carry on the trip is a belt – seriously. Not only is the dear wife trusting her husband to ferry her around safely but the only thing he has to turn back on if things go bad is a belt – that just doesn’t sound good!

According to the rules, the missus must be over 18 and weight at least 107.8 pounds. Like any good race, wifey waifs that come in under this weight will have a loaded rucksack attached to their stead, or man, to make up the handicap.

Also, you don’t have to carry your own wife, and technically participants don't even have to be tied together in matrimony!  Therefore, if you have a fat wife, you can just knock on the neighbor’s door and ask to borrow his skinnier half for a race.

Paddy Power said they were delighted to be involved.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be sponsoring the Wife Carrying Championship which is a very welcome addition to our portfolio of sponsorships.  Some bookies like to sponsor horse races but we tend to be more drawn to Fr Ted Festivals, Strip Poker Tournaments and now Wife Carrying. Maybe one day we’ll finally grow up but hopefully that day won’t be anytime soon!"

The sport originated in Finland, and the winner of the Irish championship will progress to the World Championships in 2010.

Good luck men, carry your cargo safely!