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Get in the mud: Finn McCool Race storms Caz Park on Sept. 10

Photo from the Flickr stream of JP02, Mr. Muddy Suitman

blog by Ben Kirst  • 

Photo from the Flickr stream of JP02, Mr. Muddy Suitman

Behavioral targeting is an amazing thing.  A couple months ago, I saw that one of my Facebook friends had liked something called the Tough Mudder—intrigued, I checked it out and was fascinated to find it was a 12-mile race that included some insane obstacles like an underwater tunnel swim, a sprint through bales of burning hay and a tangle with dangling wires (some of which—this is so twisted—are electrified).  Intrigued, I liked it on Facebook, too. 

Sure enough, within a day or so, the right rail of advertisements on my Facebook pages were soon filled with banners for the Tough Mudder, the Warrior Dash, Urban Dare and others.  Borderline creepy how quickly it happened, but I clicked on all of these ads because they looked fascinating.  I guess targeting works.

Anyhow, the good people of South Buffalo are set to host their own extreme race.  The Finn McCool 4-Mile Odyssey will be unleashed on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 10 AM at Cazenovia Park.  While the Finn McCool isn’t a complete ass-kicker like the Tough Mudder (there will be no electro-shocks), this fierce little race will not be a pleasant weekend stroll through the meadow (there will, for example, be fire).

“We’re not trying to kill anybody,” said Dan Horan of Eclipse Multi-sport, “but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.”

So what can you expect from the Finn McCool, a race named for a mythical Celtic warrior who, according to legend, both snapped a man in half and curb-stomped a fire-breathing demon to death?  There will be 13 obstacles jam-packed into the four-mile course, which winds through Cazenovia Park, Cazenovia Creek and the nearby golf course.  Be prepared to deal with a climbing wall, a cargo net climb, a slippery stomp through the creek, a tire hop and a mud crawl, among other impediments. 

The Finn McCool will wrap up just as the annual South Buffalo Irish Festival begins—The Blarney Bunch, the first band of the day, goes onstage at noon, very convenient timing—so expect a ferocious party following the race.  There will be a costume contest for McCool participants with prizes for the winners, so feel free to be creative in your race day garb.  And if you don’t like the idea of standing around in your own filth after the race, some of Buffalo’s Finest will hose you down. 

Every race participant will receive a t-shirt, access to a Guinness-and-wings party after the run, a finisher medal that doubles as a bottle opener and more.  Registration is $55 and all runners must be 14 or older.

Basically, folks, the Finn McCool is not so much a test of your endurance, your speed or your skill—it’s a test of your stones, your tenacity, your willingness to push the limits of your athletic comfort in order to have a unique experience.  Suckers will talk about how they could have done this, or say “that’s dumb,” or confidently note that they will try it next year.  You and me, my friend, we will be rolling in the mud on Sept. 10.  See you there.

TAGGED: cazenovia park, finn mccool, races, south buffalo

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