Friday the 13th, 10 a.m. and the mats were being rolled out on the floor, as hundreds of pieces of hardware were being hauled into the Bresnan Arena for the huge Ninja Warrior event. It started out slow and gradually picked up pace as the lighting framework, speakers, sound system, the stage, and finally the obstacle course were gradually erected and assembled.
As nearly twenty bodies from the Student Events Team worked with the event sponsors, things were arranged to the satisfaction of all. With time to spare, concessions were set up and parameters were installed.
The first two obstacles were inflatables, starting with the ball crawl; the next one was an obstacle-course that required running around the obstructions within the inflatable. Once through this, the straight-line obstacle was set up, the first of which required each contestant to run across two slanted surfaces pointing inward followed by two more slanting from the opposite side, then landing on a mini trampoline surface to access the hanging surf-board.
When contestants, hanging from their hands, had scooted down the surf-board, they had to navigate the log. Some chose to go over while others chose to go under by grabbing it. Beyond that were a series of gymnastic rings. As contestants moved from the first to the second ring of the ladder they were mounted, it would drop down to align them with the hanging crocket balls. These were attached to rods that allowed the contestants to swing from one to the next. This led into the wooden rods about 10 inches long that dropped into notches.
The two rods were in the first two notches, but the contestants had to use them to progress them through a series of four notches. Once they had accomplished this, they moved to the bar. The bar required them to pull themselves up briskly in a pull-up fashion and hop the bar up approximately four inches on both sides at the same time. Lastly, if they had enough breath and arm strength left, they were required to make a short brisk run at the wall to reach the top rim and pull themselves up.
There were several points along the course for those who could not make it all the way through non-stop, to restart, deducting from their score, of course. One of the set-up crew, a tall individual, could consistently fly through the course, making it look so simple. The contestants were not so use to the rigors of the of the course.
Local talent amounted to 15 brave souls willing to look foolish in public, and surprisingly the majority finished most of the obstacles, although not with ease. After the last contestant had gone through, the contestants all received awards from 1st to 15th place with fanfare and many pictures.
Once the awards were given out, the crowd was given a chance to use the equipment as well, leading to another hour of even more fun times watching children of all ages try to negotiate the obstacles.