The winning couple in the annual UK Wife Carrying Race are enjoying a double celebration after a marriage proposal on the finish line.
Chris Hepworth, 28, carried girlfriend Tanisha Prince 380 metres to claim the trophy beer keg – then got down on one knee and proposed to her. delighted Tanisha accepted and race organiser Rob McCaffrey said: “That is a first for the wife carrying race. Really glad you put a ring on it.”
Chris said Tanisha had been an “amazing wife to carry” but he now wants to go on to the world championships in Finland as a proper married couple.
Tanisha, 28, revealed his carry-on with the proposal was almost scuppered, saying: “He woke up with bad ribs and I was trying to persuade him not to run.”
Chris had to climb over hay bales, go up a hill and have buckets of water chucked in his face in the bizarre race, introduced by the Vikings in 793AD.
James Parker, who was carrying Megan Clarkson in Dorking, Surrey, said: “The footing was a bit slippery, there were a few holes in the ground. It is a bit of a death trap.”
Most couples opted to race in what organisers call the “Estonian hold” position, which involves the person being carried hanging upside down on the carrier’s back with their thighs dangling onto their chest.
They had to clamber over hay bales, go up and down a hill and have buckets of water chucked into their faces while they raced over the 380-metre course.
Organisers claim to be keeping alive a tradition that originated with the Vikings in 793AD and persisted 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,” according to the event website.