Who supports whom in this marriage
Warren Straatmann of Owasso, Okla., will haul his wife of seven years, Wendy, across a 253.5-meter course in Finland this July in the eighth annual Wife Carrying World Championships. Warren weighs 172 pounds, Wendy 109, which is the weight of the beer that the couple received for beating 15 other teams for the North American title in Maine last October. The Straatmanns finished the 278-yard course—they had to jump two hurdles and wade through a water pit—in a record one minute, 15 seconds.
Their path to glory
Warren, 36, a civil engineer, and Wendy, 33, a geologist, are recreational runners and cyclists. When they saw a story in a running magazine last July about wife carrying, Warren told Wendy, "We'd be good at that." Soon after, they heard on the radio that the Oklahoma championships would be held in Tulsa. "It was destiny," Wendy says.
And you thought your parents were weird
The Straatmanns hone their technique on the track at a nearby high school in deference to Kate, 6, and Grant, 2. "The kids don't want us doing it out in the yard," Wendy says.
Wendy's bottom-line view
She spends the race in what wife-carriers call the Estonian position—in layman's terms, that means her nose is in his butt. "Good thing he's my husband because I wouldn't be doing this for anyone else," she says. "Well, maybe Lance Armstrong."