Wild Ninja

Ninja Obstacle Course

Around the zoo


Metro Richmond Zoo, VA


Wild Ninja

9:00 am

Approx. 2 Miles

41 Obstacles


Wild Ninja

Are you tough enough to “escape extinction”? Find out as you test your balance, strength, stamina and mental perseverance while confronting up to 42 obstacles along an approx. 2 mile course, including 21 Ninja Warrior style obstacles. This is not a race and will not be timed; the goal is to “escape extinction” by conquering obstacles.  The 42 obstacles on Wild Ninja are broken down into 10 multi-obstacle sets where points are accumulated as each obstacle is completed.  If you fail one of the obstacles, you can still attempt the others in that set (animal challenge) for points. The 42 obstacles are spread over a 2 mile rugged terrain course around the perimeter of the Metro Richmond Zoo!  Obstacles represent challenges encountered by endangered animal species, these obstacles are not for the faint of heart. 

Whether a seasoned athlete or newcomer, this adrenaline-fueled event guarantees an unforgettable experience in a safe and supportive environment. Are you ready to unleash your inner ninja?


Next Race day countdown








Run wild 5k

Wild Ninja Details



  • Metro Richmond Zoo
  • Around the perimeter of the zoo!
  •  Course terrain makeup (gravel 10%, mulch 25%, dirt 60%, pavement 5%). 


  • Twice a year in spring and fall
  • Next Fall Race:
    • Saturday, September 28th 2024
  • Next Spring Race:
    • Saturday, May 4th 2024

What's included?

  • Entry into the competition
  • 41 tiered obstacles
  • Race band and computed results (not a timed event)
  • Finishers Medal
  • Event t-shirt
  • FREE same day ticket into zoo
  • Post race refreshments
  • Support Animal Conservation 


  • Ninja competitors must be at least 8 years old to participate.
  • Participants ages 8-14 must be accompanied by a Ninja ticketed adult or Full-Access Spectator with them throughout the entire course.

Water Stations

  • At the start, middle, and end of the race.




  • Parking is FREE.  Please follow parking attendants as they will guide all runners/spectators into a designated parking lot.


Additional Details

Don’t go extinct by getting defeated by our ninja obstacles!  Contestants who complete all obstacles successfully will earn the title “Unlikely To Become Extinct In The Near Future” and earn entry into their next race free.

Let’s Go! It’s time to get “evaluated.” Gather your friends and prepare to represent your “species” to prove that you won’t go extinct!

  • Run Wild Ninja is for anyone 8 years and older. (participants ages 8-14 need a Ninja ticketed adult competing with them)
  • 42 OCR or Ninja Warrior type obstacles!
  • Not a timed Race – Run Wild Ninja is measured on obstacle completion.
  • Obstacles will close at 2:00pm and all competitors must finish by this time.
  • *Participants get a free ticket to visit the zoo on race day.

“The IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria are intended to be an easily and widely understood system for classifying species at high risk of global extinction.”



Learn more details about Wild Ninja Scoring



Run Wild Ninja Team Competition

Gather your “herd” and prepare to face other herds in this battle against extinction.  Herds will migrate together where they can support each other as they individually face each obstacle, earning points for each obstacle they complete. Any herd of at least 2 men and 2 women will automatically be entered into our team competition where the overall score of the 2 highest men and 2 highest women in each herd will be combined to reach the team’s score.   Max team size is 15 ninjas.




Zoo Member Discount

If you are a current Zoo Member, follow the prompt at the end of registration to receive $5 off your entry.

Zoo Members must provide their membership card for validation on race day at the check-in; otherwise you will be charged the remaining $5 fee before race entry.


Ninja Kid Discount

Ninja Kid Discount is available to all participant kids ages 8-14.

Discount – $10 less than Wild Ninja tickets

*Participants ages 8-14 must be accompanied by a Ninja ticketed adult or Full-Access Spectator with them throughout the entire course.


Early Registration Discount

Sign up early for the best discount!

Wild Ninja Price Schedule


Multi-Event Discount

Sign up for any 2 Run Wild events and receive a $10 discount. (only one event shirt is provided)

Sign up for all 3 Run Wild events and receive a $15 discount. (only one event shirt is provided)

*This discount cannot be combined with the Team or Ninja Kid Discounts.


Team Discount

Create a team and invite friends and family to join.  The following discount applies to all team members once the 10th member registers:

Mini – $3

5K & 10K – $5

Ninja – $7

The previous 9 registrants will be refunded the amount listed above.

*This discount cannot be combined with the Multi-Event or Ninja Kid Discounts.

*Max team size is 20 ninjas.

**For groups larger than 20, they will need to register two or more teams for this event. (Team scores are scored by the top 2 male and top 2 female contestants of a team)




Pre-race packet pickup:  None

Race-day packet pickup: Saturday, September 30th, 2023 30-45 minutes before your start time.




Spectators can attend the Run Wild Races event free of charge with limited access to obstacles.  This access is designated in the map below.  Spectators can receive a 10% discount on zoo admission tickets the day of the race when entering with their racer.

Designated Spectator Zones

  1. Start and Finish Line Field
    • Spectators cannot follow along the entire trail with the participating ninjas. However, they can spectate Animal Challenges, 1 and 8-14 from the parking lot.
    • Spectators may bring lawn chairs to set up in the finish line field.


Ninja Full Access Spectators have the full access to spectate along the 2 mile course with their ninja participants. Ninja Spectators also receive FREE entry into the zoo for the day of the event.

$35 fee

  1. Access to the entire 2 mile ninja loop around the perimeter of the zoo.
  2. Access to the inside of the zoo on the day of the event.
    • Pro tip: Ninja is not scored on time, so ninja spectators may bring portable chairs, snacks, and water along the way.
    • *Ninja Spectators may add a shirt for a $15 fee.



All race participants will receive a free same day Zoo admission ticket with the purchase of any Run Wild Race ticket.

  • Zoo ticket will be valid for the day of the race only.
  • Zoo ticket may only be redeemed after race completion.
  • Spectators can receive a 10% discount on admission tickets the day of the race when entering with their racer.
  • Spectators cannot enter into the Zoo with a discounted entry before their participant has completed the race.
  • Race wristbands are your admission into the race and the zoo.
    • If a racer presents a cut, broken, or missing wrist band they will be denied access into the zoo.



Please be respectful of the Metro Richmond Zoo property, animals, and exhibits.  No climbing over fences, leaving the trail, smoking, shouting, taunting animals, or playing music from speakers.  We reserve the right to remove you from the race without a refund if you fail to follow these guidelines.

The Winners Prize

Any participant that clears all obstacles receives a free event entry in the next event.

Mens & Womens 1st place

Mens & Womens 2nd and 3rd place