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WATCH: ‘Wife carrying’ competition held in UK – National

Dozens of couples took part in the annual UK Wife Carrying competition in Dorking, UK on this past Sunday.

According to the organizers, the men and women had to run over a 380 meter course, with obstacles, ascents and descents.

Sunday’s race was the seventh such race to be held in the UK and is believed to have its origins from Viking times, organizers say.

According to the event website:

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Wife carrying may have originated in the UK over twelve centuries ago, on 8 June 793AD, when Viking raiders rampaged into Lindisfarne on the northeast coast of what is now England, destroying the monastary and most likely carrying off any unwilling local women. Such wife carrying-off continued intermittently for around 300 years. Wife Carrying was re-introduced into the UK by the UK Wife Carrying Race in 2008, after an absence from these shores of nearly 900 years.

The 7th annual UK Wife Carrying Race was won by Rich Blake Smith, carrying his “wife” Anna (121 pounds), narrowly beating Vytautas Kirkliauskas of Lithuania, carrying his wife (actually his wife) Neringa Kirliauskiene (115 pounds), and covering the 380m course in only 2 minutes in good-to-firm conditions.

All the participants received a mini-keg of Pilgrim real ale as well as a medal and Wife Carrying t-shirt. The winners won a barrel of ale and £250 (over US$ 400) toward competing at the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland in July.

©2014The Associated Press