NEWRY, Maine — It's one thing to carry one's wife over the threshold. It's an entirely different thing to carry someone 278 yards over a muddy obstacle course.

Eighty-one teams from Maine to California are participating Saturday in the 20th annual North American Wife Carrying Championship in Maine.

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.

Winners get the woman's weight in beer and five times her weight in cash, along with the opportunity to participate in the world championship in Finland.

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