A Finnish couple has narrowly won the 19th Wife Carrying World Championships, a nearly 300 yard race in which men try to be the fastest while carrying a female teammate.

Ville Parviainen and Janette Oksman cleared the grueling 250 meter meter obstacle course in 64 seconds on Saturday, less than a second ahead of Britain's Rich Blake Smith and Anna Marguerite Smith.

 Thirty-six couples from a dozen countries including Australia, Japan, and the United States took part in the race, which is held annually in the Finnish village of Sonkajarvi, near Helsinki.

The rules stipulate that the woman must be over 17 years of age and weigh at least 108 pounds. Despite the event's name couples don't have to be married, and organizers say male contestants could 'borrow a neighbor's wife' if they didn't have a female companion.

As in previous years, the winners were rewarded with their wife's weight in beer.