NEWRY – John Farra, a former Winter Olympian from Caribou who trained by running up a ski slope with 80 pounds of mortar mix, won the seventh annual North American Wife Carrying Championship on Saturday at Sunday River.
Farra’s first-place finish earned him and his 110-pound wife, Tess, her weight in beer and five times her weight in cash, or $550. They also are eligible for a $1,000 reimbursement toward a trip to the world championships in Finland next July.
The Farras completed the 278-yard course, which includes a water trough and log hurdles, in 1 minute, 6 seconds in the critical heat and 1 minute, 4 seconds in the final. Daniel Brown and Janel Worcester of Brewer were second, about 10 seconds behind, in the field of 27 couples.
Farra, who competed in cross-country ski races in the 1992 Games in Albertville, France, trained for the wife carry by running up a slope near his home each morning before work with 80 pounds of mortar mix in a backpack.
Several hundred spectators turned out for the competition during the height of western Maine’s fall foliage season.