Eukonkanto is the sort of manly activity – like biathlon – that invariably gains popularity in Northern Europe. Participants in the annual event run a quarter-mile obstacle course through a forest, across a beach, and into waist-deep water while toting a full-grown woman. Despite its street name, “Wife Carrying,” Eukonkanto athletes don’t actually need to be married. The women just have to be 17 years old and weigh 108 pounds. It also helps if they’ve agreed to participate. Since 1992, the Finnish town of Sonkajärvi has hosted this rousing competition, which requires a surprising amount of strategy. Newbies try piggyback, but the undefeated Estonians drape women over their shoulders like scarves and just start running.
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