Belfast Telegraph

All Ireland Wife Carrying Championships return to Dalriada Festival - here's how to apply

Following on from the competition's huge success last year, the All Ireland Wife Carrying Championships will return to the Dalriada Festival in 2018.

The sport heralds back to the days of the Vikings, when wife carrying was a way of protecting your wife from the ensuing enemy.

Such was the competitiveness and success of the race that organisers have decided to open entries for the 2018 championships in advance of the two day family festival which runs at Glenarm Castle, Co Antrim on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July.

The competition is now open for entry for all those couples who think their relationship can stand the test of a gruelling assault course.

It’s not for the fainthearted, competitors enter at their own risk and registration is free.

Helmets must be worn and competitors who drop their wives will be penalised.

Any one of the many recognised holds will be accepted including bridal carry, piggy back, shoulder ride, fireman’s carry or wives can hang upside down on their partner’s back with their legs crossed in front of their face - anything goes to get you over the finish line!

Winners of the competition will be jetting off on a holiday to Venice sponsored by NFU Mutual Ballyclare and Larne.

Adrian Morrow, Managing Director, Glenarm Castle, said: “Adding the wife carrying championships to our already packed schedule of fun filled activities at the Dalriada Festival has added a new dimension to audience participation.

"It’s a thrilling run with an element of risk and we think that’s why it’s so popular among festival goers.

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy themselves at the unique setting of the Glenarm Castle estate next month and to crowning this year’s All Ireland Wife Carrying Championships winners during a weekend of family fun.”

As well as the wife carrying championships, fitness fans will be treated to the first fitness racing championships to take place at Glenarm Castle with participants from Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught.

Also, the official PJ Masks, Catboy and Owlette, will be making appearances as will the official Tractor Ted, who will be bringing his Real Life Farm to the event.

The Co Antrim pipe band championships will provide the musical entertainment on Saturday afternoon before a host of globally recognised artists take to the 3,500 seater main stage as dusk settles.

Performers include an eclectic mix of homegrown and international talent, including Alabama 3, Hermitage Green, Matt Cardle, General Fiasco, Gareth Dunlop, The Electric Swing Circus, Runabay, Dana Masters, Ben Glover and Ryan McMullan.

For more information on the festival or to registaer for the All Ireland wife carrying championships, visit

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