NEWRY, Maine - 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.
Man eats 247 jalapenos to win contest
Mon Oct 9, 10:32 PM ET
DALLAS - A 62-year-old retired accountant from Nevada swallowed 247 peppers in eight minutes to win the Jalapeno Eating World Championship at the State Fair of Texas.
Richard LeFevre won $2,000 for prevailing in Sunday's contest, which was sponsored by the International Federation of Competitive Eating.
"I love to eat, and I love to compete, so the two go pretty well together," said LeFevre, the world's eighth-ranked eater according to the federation.
LeFevre, who has also won the fair's World Corny Dog Eating Contest three times, said his winning strategy was to mix three or four peppers in his mouth with a swig of milk before swallowing.
LeFevre was one of four professional eaters who took the top four places in the competition.
Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas said she had never eaten a jalapeno before the contest. Ranked third in the world by the federation, she downed 239 peppers to take second place and $1,000 in prize money.
Christopher Huang, of Arlington, entered the competition even though he doesn't normally eat spicy foods.
"I eat mild salsa," Huang said. "But there's nothing like putting yourself through a lot of pain for no reason."
The 26-year-old required several minutes of recovery time after eating 53 jalapenos.
"I cant feel my face," he said when he was able to speak again.
Dr. Daniel DeMarco, a gastroenterologist and director of endoscopy at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, said the amount of jalapenos consumed in an eating contest is more harmful than the burn.
"It's really pretty stupid," DeMarco said. "Like any sort of abuse of your body, it doesn't make any sense."
He said long-term complications are unlikely, but there are some risks.
"If they get sick, they're going to be vomiting it up, and that can cause esophageal tears," he said.
They may have had fun (?) eating the peppers, but I bet it tore their insides up!
A wife carrying contest? I bet if it was mandatory to compete in that, there would be more skinny women in the world.
Yes doctor, I am sick. Sick of those who are spineless. Sick of those who feel self-entitled. Sick of those who are hypocrites. Yes doctor, an army is forming. Yes doctor, there will be a war. Yes doctor, there will be blood.....