The Log Runner is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the third obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 7 in San Pedro (Military).
It consisted of four free-spinning equidistant logs which competitors must run across, each four feet distant from each other. The obstacle was proven to be the most challenging obstacle in San Pedro, as several competitors either failed to land their feet at the very middle of the log and slipped off, or touched a log with their hands, resulting in a disqualification.
The Log Runner returned as the third obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 8 in Oklahoma City. This time:
- There were 5 logs instead of 4.
- The first three logs were gradually raised by 6 inches each, only until the fourth log. Then, the fifth log was also raised.
- Competitors would not be disqualified for touching a log with their hands. The twist with the fourth log being level, ended up being the reason why the disqualification was lifted.
Although competitors could use their hands while attempting the obstacle, during Oklahoma City qualifiers, the Log Runner was proven to be surprisingly brutal, as it was responsible for eliminating many top competitors, including Kevin Klein, Lance Pekus, and Kacy Catanzaro. This was also the obstacle no woman in Oklahoma City qualifiers could get past. The Log Runner was revealed to have taken out 36 competitors during Oklahoma City qualifiers.
It was just as deadly during Oklahoma City finals, as seven more competitors fell here, once again usually around the fourth log.
This obstacle had a unique completion during American Ninja Warrior 8's Oklahoma City qualifiers, when Artis Thompson III attempted it with his prosthetic leg. His feet slipped at the second log, but he was able to save himself by grabbing the third log with his hands. Then, he slowly acrossed the obstacle, log by log, and finally to the landing platform. Though he ultimately gassed out at the end of the next obstacle (the Tire Swing), his performance at that time was awarded the "POM Run of the Night". This was the first occurrence, when the "POM Run of the Night" was not awarded from a completion on a course.
The Log Runner appeared as the third obstacle in Heat 2 and Heat 5 on Ninja Warrior UK 3, which was very similar to the Log Runner from American Ninja Warrior 8, except the logs were not raised, making them had the same height. Also, competitors were allowed to use their hands while attempting the obstacle.