Win your wife's weight in beer at the North American Wife Carrying Championship

This is better than couples therapy.

Next month is the annual North American Wife Carrying Championship in Newry, Maine.  Yes, not only is this a real event, it's an international sport and part of the World Alternative Games.

The objective of the event is to carry your wife through the mud and muck faster than anyone else. The winners get a cash prize and the wife's weight in beer.  What could be better?

The origin of the sport was apparently inspired by the Finnish wife-carrying tradition and a 19th century character named Herkko Rosvo-Rankainen, who--as folklore has it --chose people for his marauding band of thieves based on how well they could carry wives away as they plundered the villages.

Lucky, the modern day version includes only willing participants, and the women don't even have to be married. To compete teams must be comprised of a man and a woman, 21 years or older. Women are welcome to carry the men, but that usually doesn't work out well so much.

Competitors typically use what's called the Estonian method, in which the wife wraps her legs around the husband's head while the she hangs down his back. It makes for some nice "together" time, especially for those who aren't married.

Couples compete two at a time on a 278-yard alpine course complete with wooden hurdles, beer barrels, sand traps, and the “widow maker” water hazard until the top two fastest times have been determined for the finals. Winners also automatically qualify for the 2013 event.

Set to take place on Oct. 6, it just may worth the trip to Maine. For complete information, visit