ANW9 Rail Runner

American Ninja Warrior 9's Rail Runner in Denver

The Rail Runner is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the fifth obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 9 in Denver.

Competitors have to hold a pair of handles and slide it to an 11 feet track with different angles, then they must make a 3 feet transition to another pair of handles and must slide again to an 11 feet track also with different angles.

With the design of the handles being shaped like an inverted 'U', there are times that the bar can go lopsided on the rail (can either go to the left or to the right).

This obstacle was proven to be brutal, as many competitors that did not have enough stamina to slide the handles, usually were moved back at a downward slope, delaying progress and expanding competitors' energy to hold on. A total of 24 competitors (such as Meagan Martin, Brian Arnold, and Sam Sann) fell on this obstacle, and only eight competitors completed it. Ultimately, those eight competitors were the only finishers during Denver qualifiers, setting a record as the second lowest amount of finishers during city qualifiers in American Ninja Warrior history (after Venice Beach qualifiers on American Ninja Warrior 7, with seven finishers).

Rail Runner Comparison

Comparison between the gap between the first and second rail of the Rail Runner during Denver qualifiers (top) and Denver finals (bottom)

An unique and painful elimination occurred during Denver qualifiers, when Brian Arnold hit the second rail with his nose while transitioning from the first pair of handles to the second, which was due to the second rail positioned lower than the end of the first rail. Because of that, during Denver finals, the second rail was moved higher than during Denver qualifiers to prevent that happened again (which made the end of the first rail was equally high with the start of the second rail). As the result, only 4 competitors failed on this obstacle (in which one of them was Andrew Duncan, who completed this obstacle during Denver qualifiers).

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
ANW Clears Attempts Percentage
ANW9 (qualifiers) 8 32 25%
ANW9 (finals) 21 25 84%
Total 29 57 50.87%