May 24, 2020
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Delaware man wins woman’s weight in beer at Maine wife-carrying contest

Nick Lambert | Sunday River Resort
Nick Lambert | Sunday River Resort
Team Lovebirds (Olivia Dowling and Jerome Roehm of Delaware) traverse the Widow Maker obstacle as competitors Cure Mito (Jesse Wall and Christine Arsenault of Maine) fall in the water.

A Delaware couple dominated at Saturday’s wife-carrying contest in Newry.

Olivia Rowling and Jerome Roehm of Team Lovebirds were crowned the winners of the 20th annual North American Wife Carrying Championship, completing the 278-yard course at Sunday River Resort in 55.95 seconds. The Newark, Delaware, couple took home Rowling’s weight in beer — six cases — and five times her weight in cash, totaling $555.

Rowling and Roehm competed against 44 other couples before facing off in the final round against defending champions Christine Arsenault and Jesse Wall of Oxford, who finished the course in 1:02:34. Arsenault and Wall took home Arsenault’s weight in beer and two cases of soda.

Rowling and Roehm were first-time competitors in Saturday’s contest. They intend to return next year to defend their title.

The 278-yard obstacle course includes two log hurdles and a water obstacle often referred to as the “Widow Maker.” The event turned 20 on Saturday.

Based on Finnish tradition, the event features male competitors completing the obstacle course while carrying a woman. The legend behind the event is based on Finland’s “Ronkainen the Robber,” whose gang was known to pillage villages and take the women.


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