HOUSTON – It's just 24 hours till race day, but husband and wife duo Jacob and Monique Crowley aren't wasting anytime.
"They're wondering why daddy is carrying mommy that way," said Monique.
They're testing 277 yards of obstacles in a most unusual team sport.
"This isn't Friday night lights," said Monique.
It's the world of wife carrying, and it's exactly what it sounds like. Women hitch a ride atop their male partner and run a course more than two football fields long.
The Texas Championship is set for Saturday at River Pointe Church in Richmond.
"I just ride like a backpack," said Simone Cannon.
You don't need to be married to compete. This year organizers expect record crowds because whoever crosses this finish line first will walk away with $2,000.
"It got pretty competitive last year," said Simone.
For the second straight year, Charles Cannon will carry his wife Simone.
"We were holding on for dear life," said Simone. "There's a lot of blood rushing to your head. It's very bouncy."
But they're hoping this year's race goes a little smoother than last year.
"It's not too bad until he drops you on your head in the water," said Simone.
The course is the ultimate test for couples. You can't win unless you trust your partner.
"She has to trust that I'm not going to drop her again," said Charles.
"I still trust him, we're still married," said Simone.
And this year's race will be tougher than ever.
"It's a very hard competition," said Taisto Miettinen.
Miettinen is a five time wife carrying world champion. He and his partner Cristina flew to Houston from Finland to notch another win. It's the couple's first trip to Texas.
"It's hot," said Cristina.
So local couples like the Crowleys hope that works to their advantage.
"It's an honor to say we get to compete with the world champions," said Monique. "When do you get to say that in any sport?"
"Win or lose we shall compete," said Jacob.
No one wants to lose, but the most important thing in this race is crossing that finish line together.
For more information on the Texas Wife Carrying Championship, click http://www.riverpointe.org/richmond/wifecarrying.