Middleton, Wis., man wins popular wife-carrying contest
- Associated Press
- July 5, 2014 - 4:37 PM
MONONA, Wis. — The eighth annual Wisconsin Wife Carry Championship Race was a big hit again this year, especially for Jon Fenrick of Middleton.
The 29-year-old Monona police officer captured the title Friday after he slung his 103-pound wife over his shoulders and completed the obstacle course in a minute flat. With the victory he takes home $525 — plus his wife's weight in beer, the Wisconsin State Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1seUyWQ ).
The contest, an internationally sanctioned event, was a big attraction at the Monona Community Festival. More than a dozen couples competed in front of hundreds of cheering fans.
The course challenges runners to slog 850 feet through tires, bales of hay and a water pit. It only took Fenrick 60 seconds to complete the course, but he said it was the longest minute of his life.
"Absolutely, without a doubt," he said. "This is awesome."
His wife, Angie, weighs 103 pounds, 2 pounds under the required minimum weight of 105, but the couple wasn't penalized. Their prize was $5 for every pound, based on her weight being 105 pounds, as well as her weight in beer — five cases' worth.
The generally preferred carrying position is to have the wife hang down the man's back with her legs over his shoulders. The women are required to wear bicycle helmets, and each couple has to sign a liability waiver.
The event is open to straight and same-sex couples, and the entrance fee is $40.
The cash and beer awards are enticing, but some people are intimidated by the race course "because it is somewhat challenging," organizer Eric Redding said.
Newlyweds Todd and Anna Robinson, of San Jose, California, can attest to that. Todd Robinson, 57, a Milwaukee native, said he wished he'd trained more.
He also promised his wife beforehand that if he got too tired he'd slow to a walk rather than risk dropping her.
"On that last hay bale when my legs were rubber, I remembered my promise not to drop her," he said.
As Wisconsin champs, the Fenricks are now eligible to represent the state at the North American Wife Carrying Championships in October in Maine.
© 2014 Star Tribune