Monona Community Festival

Wife Carrying Rules

Wisconsin Wife Carrying Championship
Official Rules


The original track was in the rough countryside of Finland. That rough terrain with fences, rocks and brooks has been altered to suit modern conditions. The following rules set by the Monona Community Festival will apply:

  • The length of the official track is 253.5 meters*, or a mere 831.69 feet* and the surface of the track is partially sand and partially grass, with mud if it rained.  However, this can change.  Check back a few days before the event to see how we have it laid out.
  • The track has two dry obstacles and a water obstacle, about one foot deep
  • The “wife” to be carried may be your own, the neighbor’s or you may have found her farther afield; she must, however, be over 21 years of age, as should you.  (Why? you ask? the first prize is BEER, that’s why)
  • The minimum weight of the wife to be carried is 49 kilograms, but we will round that to 105 lbs, mostly because we don’t want to do the math. If she is less than 105 pounds, the wife will be burdened with a rucksack containing additional weight such that the total load to be carried is no less than 105 pounds.
  • All the participants must have fun.  This rule will be enforced.
  • If a contestant drops his wife that couple will be fined 15 seconds per drop.
  • The only equipment allowed is a belt worn by the carrier. The carried must wear a helmet, a quality bicycle helmet will suffice but we recommend something more substantial.
  • Contestants must contest to being sober.
  • Contestants must sign the attached waiver of liability.
  • The contestants run the race two at a time, so each heat is a contest in itself, but the winner will be the fastest time of all entrants.
  • Only twenty teams will be accepted.
  • Each contestant takes care of his/her safety and, if deemed necessary, insurance.
  • The contestants have to pay attention to the instructions given by the organizers of the competition.
  • The winning team wins the wife’s weight in beer, and $5 per pound of the wife, sans helmet.
  • The fastest couple with at least one person over the age of 40 will be awarded a special prize.
  • Participation fee is forty dollars, to keep out the casual entrant but it includes two shirts.
  • The winner will have their victory commemorated on the Monona Community Festival web site for all to see.
  • The committee reserves the right to change the rules.