EAST OTTO — Griffis Sculpture Park will be hosting at the Finn McCool 4-Mile Odyssey obstacle course challenge, put on by Eclipse Multi-Sport, on June 1, to put participants to the test.
The Odyssey, which has an Irish theme, will take both teams and individuals through pits of mud, rope wall climbs, monkey bars and more. Participants will be allowed into the course in waves of 150 people. The first wave will take off at 9 a.m. and subsequent waves will start the race every 20 minutes after that, until 10:20. The “Lil’ Finn Race,” for children ages 4 – 13, is set to start at 8:30.
At the end of the 4-mile obstacle course, which will lead runners through the sculpture park, racers will face a mud pit. Each “Finn-isher” will receive a 16-ounce beer glass, T-shirt and other prizes.
This year’s Odyssey is the first one to be held at the Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto. The last two editions took place at Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo.
“It is an absolutely gorgeous course, and what Griffis Sculpture Park was able to offer, that no other venue was able to offer, are the 100 pieces of artwork along the park, and we are really going to incorporate that into the event,” explained Dan Horan, president of Eclipse Multi-Sport.
Horan added that this race, although it will present a challenge, is not reserved for the perfectly physically fit. The course is designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and fun, according to the organizer.
“If there’s a problem, just walk,” Horan said, about participants who may doubt their fitness levels. “We really encourage team building and camaraderie. The people who start together, finish together. I think people, while they’re climbing big hills and are tired, are going to enjoy all the artwork they see along the way.”
Horan said that last year’s event organizers gave about 23 percent of race profits to the Special Olympics. He said that he hopes to give about the same percent to the Essex Art Center, this year. He said that he wants jobs, the race and the charity to stay in Western New York.
“We’re a local company and we employ local people,” Horan noted. “It’s a fair cost, quality event, and we give away a lot more swag than other events.”
For more information about the Finn McCool 4-Mile Odyssey, visit www.finnmccool4mile.com.