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One ‘Colossal’ marathon

Riders who stick it out for 36 hours straight on iconic coaster could win Gold Pass season tickets

Posted: August 4, 2014 5:18 p.m.
Updated: August 4, 2014 5:18 p.m.

Jason Oliver of San Diego takes it easy around a curve on Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain on Monday. Oliver's brother, Jonathan, was riding Colossus for 36 hours in a marathon to compete for season Gold Passes to all Six Flags theme parks. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze

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By noon, the riders had already seen the twists, turns, ups and downs of Six Flag Magic Mountain’s Colossus about 40 times.

Twenty-four riders from around the country were taking on the park’s wooden roller coaster for 36 hours straight beginning at 9 a.m. Monday and culminating at 9 p.m. Tuesday in a marathon ride billed as part of a “Farewell Tour.”

The iconic Magic Mountain coaster is due to close for good Aug. 16.

“Colossus is by far my favorite ride here,” said Michael Mountain, 16, of Bakersfield. Mountain said the roller coaster is the “most fun” of all the rides in the park, and his stepfather, Rich Phillips, said Mountain “lives and breathes coasters.”

Mountain and the other riders were vying for four “Gold Passes” good for all of the Six Flags parks — if they make it the entire 36 hours.

The Gold Pass is good for an entire season and includes free parking, VIP entry into the parks and an extra Bring-A-Friend Free ticket.

Three hours into the marathon ride, regular park guests arrived at the platform with wide eyes and white knuckles, but the marathoners showed up after each ride looking just a little more weary than the previous arrival.

Santa Clarita resident Maverick Muir, 14, said the coaster’s safety bar begins to hurt the rider’s legs around the fifth time, something most riders never experience.

“After 40 times, it’s a different story,” he said.

Riders are allowed 15-minute breaks every hour and are provided snacks, as well as dinner and breakfast. While headphones and music players are allowed for the contestants, sleeping during the overnight rides is not — and neither are motion-sickness medications.

Most of the riders brought a support person with them.

Six Flags Magic Mountain spokeswoman Sue Carpenter said park staff are good about making sure all the riders are doing well each time they come through the platform.

Still, riding a roller coaster for 36 hours is no small feat. One rider vomited after the second ride, according to Mountain, and by 2 p.m., three riders had already dropped out.

Carpenter expects to have about six people left by 9 p.m. Tuesday, and said those who make it to Tuesday morning will have the best chance of finishing.

But Mountain didn’t think many would make it.

“Half of them are going to drop out very fast,” he predicted at 2 p.m. Monday.

 

 

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