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Red Bull parkour event coming to Ybor City Saturday

Parkour athlete Ryan Doyle trains in Tampa.

Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Parkour athlete Ryan Doyle trains in Tampa.

They scale walls and jump over obstacles like Jackie Chan, even Spider-Man, annoying building security guards trying to shoo them off their property.

On Saturday, these parkour athletes will show off their moves during the Red Bull Art of Motion competition in Centro Ybor.

Twenty athletes will run through a 90-second obstacle course set up in Centro Ybor's courtyard. Four judges, including Tampa's Daniel Arroyo of the MTV show Ultimate Parkour Challenge, will score contestants on their fluidity, creativity, style and execution. The top eight will advance to the finals, and the winner will receive a Red Bull trophy and a to-be-determined cash prize.

The energy drink company started the event three years ago in Europe and this year decided to expand it to the United States. Tampa is Art of Motion's first stop, followed by Boston's City Hall Plaza on Sept. 17.

Red Bull chose Ybor City because of its diverse urban terrain and strong parkour scene. The tall, outside staircase at Centro Ybor makes for great leaps and stunts, said Red Bull spokeswoman Lisa Beachy.

Tampa also had a good track record. Red Bull's Flugtag flying contraption contest in July 2008 attracted 100,000 people.

Arroyo, 23, said Tampa's parkour community has grown considerably since the MTV show debuted last year. Locals train at Xcel 360 gym on Gunn Highway and practice the sport, also referred to as free running, wherever there's a tree, fence or street bench.

"The world is our playground. You can find something anywhere,'' he said. "Everybody has done parkour. The question is, 'Did you stop?' ''

Parkour athletes, known as traceurs, typically have backgrounds in martial arts and gymnastics and see the sport as a means to stay fit and tackle emotional fears. Moves get names like the Cat Crawl, the King Kong vault and the Underbar.

Arroyo invented his own: the Cast Bomb, a dangerous move off a ledge or railing involving a back flip. See it on YouTube.

On the move

The Red Bull Art of Motion is from 3 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. Admission is free. The best viewing is from Centro Ybor and Eighth Avenue, which will be closed to traffic. Go to redbullusa.com/artof

motiontampa.

Red Bull parkour event coming to Ybor City Saturday 09/09/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:49pm]

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