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River Warrior Challenge bound for Buffalo RiverWorks

The obstacle-driven fitness craze sparked by the TV show "American Ninja Warrior" and touring events such as Spartan Race and Tough Mudder continue with a four-day event in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.), organized by Ninja Warrior Academy of Hybrid Fitness.

The inaugural River Warrior Challenge runs June 24 and 25, with spectator tickets available for $10 for a single day or $15 for both. Competitors may still register, beginning at $99 for adults, here. The winner of the adult challenge will take home $3,000.

A kids tournament, split into four age groups, runs June 24 for $69 per child.

The preliminary round, which runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 24, pits competitors against a course set up in the venue's hockey rinks. Six of the "American Ninja Warrior" obstacles will confront participants, as well as 10 others inspired by Spartan and Tough Mudder. An update on one of the barriers was posted on the River Warrior Challenge Facebook page.

The adult finals run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25, with a more elaborate, challenging course. The top finishers from Saturday will be tested with 10 Ninja Warrior obstacles and 14 others.

While the competition is set aside for the weekend, festivities begin on June 22 and 23 with a chance to test the course for $10 per run – time slots available for open-course runs are 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 22 and 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 23.

A meet-and-greet with Ninja Warrior-related celebrities runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday – which coincides with an appearance by the Buffalo Street Outlaws – and then a chance to explore the course with hands-on tips from the celebrities follows from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., for $35. Justin Kydd, Ernest Greer, Noel Reyes, McKinley Pierce, Dave Kozak, Carl Fantauzzo and Buffalo's own Patrick Hall are among the guests of repute.

Read more about the Obstacle Course Racing phenomenon:
- Scott Scanlon's interview with Patrick Hall, from spring 2016
- The blossoming of the Ninja Warrior phenomenon and Buffalo's connection
- Watch a training video for the Buffalo Ninja Warrior
- Growth of Ninja Warrior expands to kids


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