Ninja Warrior Kauai-style

If you’ve watched “American Ninja Warrior” and thought you could do it, then the Ohana Family Fit Fest is for you.

“It’s like a mellow version of a ninja obstacle course,” said Ken Rosenthal, an organizer and a board member of Kauai North Shore Community Foundation.

The third annual event is scheduled starting at 10 a.m. July 23 at Pine Trees Park in Hanalei. It is presented by Wilcox Health as a fundraiser for the foundation and its health and wellness efforts.

While there will be a wellness expo, silent auction and many activities, including beach flag, golf chipping, kick boxing demo, pickleball smash, hackido and hula hoops, the highlight will be the free obstacle course competition.

It’s going to be a lot of sweat and maybe tears, too, but it’s going to be serious. The winners of their divisions receive koa wood meals while the team of three with the best cumulative time will take home $300 in dining certificates at Barcuda.

That’s any three people. Any ages. Any level. Come one, come all.

“People to do it for fun and some people who want to win,” Rosenthal said. “So we’re encouraging the real serious athlete to do teams.”

The timed, eight-station obstacle course will take most people minutes to complete. It’s not overly demanding, but it isn’t a walk in the park, either. There’s a balance beam, tire scramble, crawl under the bar, 50 meter swim, lateral cone run, jump over hurdles, tire flip and run to the finish, ring the bell.

People will cheer you on. Some might chuckle, depending on how you do.

“The course is a little bit longer because I added the swim,” he said.

Keiki, teens, 30somethings and kupuna are encouraged to come out and try. Last year, nearly 200 did. And more are expected this year.

“It’s not Olympic hurdles,” said Rosenthal, who will give a demonstration and then, entrants will give it a go.

New this year is the swim, 25 yards out and back, to get people wet.

There will be five age categories, male and female, plus a team division. When a person is about halfway through the course, another will be sent out.

“So there will always be people on the course,” Rosenthal said.

Ohana Fit Fest includes a Wellness Expo scavenger hunt game where someone can win a $200 dining certificate at Hideaways Pizza Pub. There will be other prizes, too.

Rosenthal, the event director and emcee, is hoping people will come out and make a day of it in Hanalei, as the Hanalei Canoe Club is having its annual luau featuring food, hula, fire dancing, music, canoe rides and a silent auction.

The luau is 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hanalei Canoe Club. Cost is $50 in advance, $60 at the door.

The Kauai North Shore Community Foundation is dedicated to health and wellness, and keeping it fun while raising funds to carry out its mission.

“It’s not as much about money as it is about raising awareness off health and fitness,” Rosenthal said.

His background is fitness and finance. The Princeville man teaches aerobics and earned six national and world titles in aerobics in the 90s.

Rosenthal completed the course last year in under two minutes. Almost everyone fell short of his standards.

“There was somebody who beat me last year,” he said. “So, we’ll see this year.”


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