Parkour master stars on TV’s toughest course

Parkour and freerunning champion Timothy ‘Livewire’ Shieff hit TV screens in the UK recently as he appeared on the Final of UK Ninja Warrior. The primetime ITV programme boasted the toughest obstacle course on TV.

20 February 2016

The series comprised of heats and semi finals leading up to Saturday’s final. The courses comprised of various obstacles requiring speed, balance, agility and strength among other attributes, with most contestants unable to complete the courses.

Last year he progressed further than any other participant to win the title of Last Man Standing.

This year Timothy comfortably completed the course in the heat in the second fastest time before an unexpected fall in the semi final. As few of his rivals completed the entire course, Tim still went through to the final having completed most of the course and therefore being among the top places.

"I learned more from the fall in the semi than any successful run" Tim told Great Vegan Athletes soon afterwards. "It freed me from the fear of failure as well which helped me enjoy the final a lot more!"

In the final, the course was very tough with many of the more successful competitors in heats and semifinals failing to complete it. Only three did complete it, of which Tim was one – recording the fastest time.

The course finished with the ‘invisible ladder’, a very tough new addition. This obstacle consists of two rings; competitors grabbing one ring in each hand and pumping their arms upward as if they are climbing an invisible ladder. As the rings can only move upwards, doing this will raise the competitor towards the top of the chute (around ten metres) where they can hit the buzzer.

"The invisible ladder was hard as it came at the end" said Tim, when we asked him if it was the hardest obstacle. "I think the obstacle I fell on in the semifinal was hardest as it's bouncy and slippery, you have to stay very calm."

Tim and his two rivals then went through to the second course of the final. Tim went first and fell just before completing the salmon ladder. One of the other competitors exited the course earlier, and the other failed just after the salmon ladder, finishing as Last Man Standing and placing Tim in second.

With a first and second place in the only two series, Tim is the most successful competitor in the short history of the programme. However, nobody has yet beaten the entire course, which has made some people question whether it has been too tough. "Tough is very subjective. The hardest part about it is that you only get one chance, no practice. You have to be able to analyse obstacles but also be open to adapting on the fly."

Timothy also tells us he plans on returning next year, with some rock climbing experience between now and then.

The flying livewire vegan has also been spreading the vegan message through his social media accounts so we can expect to see more plant powered achievements both on our screens next year and during the coming year.

See the programme

Tim’s profile