He carried his “wife” Ciara Crossan through a 250-metre obstacle course at the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland at the weekend to retain their title as the competition’s “most entertaining couple”.
“That is the hardest thing you will ever do,” James said last night, as he and his team drove their camper- van through Sweden to get home to Cork for Thursday.
The Blackrock hurler even admitted that wife-carrying is tougher than a full training session with the mighty Rockies.
James and Ciara left Ireland last week and spent seven days travelling through Europe to get to the Finish town of Sonkajarvi for the competition.
They took part in three races, winning prizes in two.
They competed in the main race in full wedding attire – James in a top hat and tails and Ciara in a wedding dress, and matching crash helmet.
James flung Ciara overhis shoulder and carried her over hurdles and through a water hazard to defend their most entertaining couple title.
The top prize of the wife’s weight in beer went to last year’s Finnish champions in a time of one minute and two seconds.
And James and Ciara were joined by Ruaidhri Martin and Paul Keville for the relay race, in which Ciara is passed from one “husband” to another.
Despite a 10-second penalty after one of the husband’s failed to downa full bottle of sparkling water at one of the hand-overs, the team was delighted to finish third.
Event organiser Anna Huttinen said: “They have the right attitude, come to compete with athleticism and also have a lot of fun.”
Ciara said it has been an epic journey. “We are so happy to be coming home with the trophy after all of the support we have had from home,” she said.
The internet entrepreneur runs Irish website, WeddingDates.ie and has uploaded videos to give people a flavour of their adventure.
Meanwhile, the Irish Wife Carrying Championships take place in Sneem, Co Kerry on July 24.
Defending champions John O’Shea and Aoife Desmond won last year’s main race with in time of one minute and 12 seconds.