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American adventurers find Finnish "wives" on Facebook, now eligible for wife-carrying championships

A pair of Californian backpacking brothers have successfully put the social networking site Facebook to use to find themselves a pair of Finnish partners – and guarantee their participation in one of Finland’s quirky summer competitions, the annual wife-carrying world championships.

Vagabrothers kosii suomalaisnaisia YouTube-videolla
Image: YouTube

Using the moniker the "Vagabrothers", Marko and Alex Ayling began their search for Finnish wives in June with a view to wife-carrying their way to global glory in the annual Finnish competition which takes place on July 4 – 5 in Sonkajärvi, eastern Finland this year.

The brothers posted an oddball proposal video on the video sharing site YouTube as part of their quest to track down suitable Finnish spouses. That search finally ended when the brothers tweeted that they had found their Finnish wives – two comely lasses known as Anni and Nelli. According to Marko, the girls contacted the backpacking siblings via their Facebook page.

“They were already friends so it seemed logical to choose them,” Marko explained.

The foursome will only meet face to face on the eve of next weekend’s contest, so there’ll be little time to rehearse race tactics. All the same the adventurous Aylings say they trust their luck.

Training and hoping for the best

They’ve been training for the competition by carrying each other. Although the improvised training routine showed them just how demanding the oddity race can be, they said they’re hoping for a respectable outcome.

“We’ve seen a video of last year’s winner and we have no chance of winning,” the duo jested. Last year's winners hailed from Finland, with Taisto Miettinen hauling Kristiina Haapanen over the distance ahead of runner-up couples from Estonia and the UK.

The Ayling brothers said they found out about the wife-carrying race through their participation in different specialty events around the world.

The Vagabrothers’ last taste of success was in the Biggest Baddest Bucket List travel competition, during which they travelled across six different continents over a period of six months and chronicled their escapades on YouTube. The brothers are now hoping to travel around the world getting to know locals in different areas.

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