UPDATE! Click here for photos from the event: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1488223#p1488223
marathon! I see someone post about it on Facebook, I decide to do it, yay someone posted it in the forum! Email the person, get an email back, send and email back, get an email back, yay, I'm in...email: "You have not replied", crap! So, I'm at Knoebels for the Glowphest thing and I didn't know I was supposed to reply...calling "I'm still in, I didn't know i needed to reply!", okay back in, eat my pizza, annoy Thad while my daughter laughs. Glowphest is awesome, riding a woodie over and over, yes I like this. Dorney the next day, Robb says "We will do live updates.", awesome...what's a live update?
Get there, hey look it's Cliff! Hi Cliff, lets check in, here's a waiver please sign your life away and we will give you a season pass, seems legit let's do it! So, first off, I didn't even know what the prize was or that there even was a prize. I just assumed it was a publicity thing, and knew we were supposed to get a pass or something. Not concerned, really don't care, seems like something cool to do, Colossus
gonna close, me gonna ride it, great! I start looking at the email and it starts to sound like a competition, words like "disqualified" and such. Ohhhh, so these people think they can beat ME?!!? Hells no! I will slay these fools, for I am awesome! Or something, I dunno, I ain't gonna quit. We could bring a cooler with food and drinks, so I brought energy drinks, coffee drinks, gum, hard candy, beef jerky, dried fruit...I basically was thinking of it as a long hike into the desert. I knew they would have water of course. I packed a jacket for night, my head sleeve doorag thing, 2 mp3 players, spare phone battery, portable charger, lots of batteries, spare shirt...etc.. I knew a lot of these guys weren't for real because they didn't pack hardly anything. Bottom line- most of these people won't even be able to stay awake for 36 hours
, have never even ridden a coaster twice in a row, don't know what night rides will be like, aren't prepared for the heat, don't realize how much energy it takes to ride a coaster over and over...I am totally used to this stuff, I can do this!
15 minute breaks every hour, which was about enough time to make it to the bathroom and back, and get something to drink. Literally if you walked slow you could be late, the bathrooms aren't as close as you think. Snacks and food was provided, we were allowed to take bottles of water on the ride. There was food, but aside from one long break where they didn't have it ready, we pretty much were still under the 15 minute time limit. We were getting more or less 10 laps and hour, more when the park was close and less when the GP was riding with us.
let's get ready, Tony McEwing is supposed to be the special 1st rider, he get's in, tells 'em what his phrase will be to start the coaster...and they launch before he even says anything, yup...Tony, that's called having a Six Flags day. So, full lap, not sure if they even counted it, let's try that again. Okay, good take, Tony stays around for some spots and now we are for real, game on! I didn't see it, but supposedly somebody got sick or puked, I dunno, but people started falling faster than expected. Someone else dropped out feeling dizzy or something. I can honestly say you could see who wasn't gonna make it after a few laps, they just weren't used to marathoning coasters at all, much less 36 hours
straight on an old woody.
My plan was just to stay hydrated, use the bathroom breaks and ride it out. My first mistake was when they brought lunch, I was starving! Pizza, not good food for marthoning a coaster in the hot sun, but it was food and i was hungry and I regretted it, not that i was gonna puke or anything, but I got some pretty mean heartburn and the pizza sat there in my stomach like a rock for most of the afternoon. I remembered that i had packed some grapefruit juice, which helped my stomach settle, or at least the acidity must have desolved the pizza. Yay! For the first day we had our own train, the GP had to wait, some were happy to be part of the spectacle, some yelled at the ride ops, but I think most of the public thought we were crazy just for trying to ride that long. I think the sun did a lot of damage to some of the riders, they were dying from the heat, no sunscreen, or whatever. Hey I ain't ever gotten started yet and people are ready to give up, awesome! "When does the sun go down?", oh, it'll "cool off" around 6:30 or so...Ha,ha,ha!
Oh joy, the sun went down, some nice evening rides, dinner...crap! Food again, hamburgers or/and chicken nuggets, must choose wisely, or should I eat at all? Okay, chicken too greasey, let's do a burger. Um...burger very heavy, me take a nap...NO! Sugar, lot's or Sugar! They really took care of us with snacks, sodas and water, so yeah I pounded a soda and felt just capital! Well, still tired, but not sleepy, I know...Energy drink! Blast off, after running all day Colossus
was really flying, not creeping around the turns like it usually does, or maybe I had too much sugar and caffine...wow it's shaking a lot now, and it's not even moving...wait, that's me shaking, nevermind. One of the other riders had his first Red Bull and got sick, another one bites the...crap, he ain't gonna quit! It's like 10 or so, over 100 laps, somewhere between 10 and 13 left, at this point I wasn't sure who was still in it, and who was just support people, but some people stayed around to be support after quitting.
Okay, just a note, Cliff got eliminated during a break. They changed the person monitoring the time and she was very strict. So, was Cliff late...yeah he was. Was he very late...no! Only seconds, I mean literally he was one step away from the entrance. Now, I probably would have let it slide, as the "spirit" of the rules was being followed, he came back at the proper time, and we had not boarded the coaster yet. In fact, not even entered the station, we were still on the stairs at the exit. But, it was said at some point that were were supposed to be lined up and ready to ride at the end of break time. So, form your own opinion, I can see both sides of it, and Cliff took it well. Maybe he should have protested a little more, but in any case, he took a much needed beer break, and I asked if he could stay as my support person, which he did. I think Cliff was in the same boat I was in, and would have done this withuot a prize or competition, just for the fun and the bragging rights.
Night rides start, everyone is happy to be out of the sun, and the heat. It's cool now, very cool, wait...it's cold! Surprise suckers, Valencia is friggin' cold at night! Me, I got a jacket and my head sleeve and...gloves!!! So, now one of the coolest coaster rides ever! Lights in the park are pretty much out, no parking lot lights...and the lights on Colossus
go out! Pitch black and running faster than i could have imagined it could still go, diving into the darkness. Night rides on a woody, so much faster, and the fact that it had been cycling for over 12 hours
just made it feel like the coaster I remember as a kid. Then, BAM! Floodlights go on in the parking lot and ruin it! Okay, now this is already totally worth it, I would have paid for that! People realize that they need um, what do you call it? SLEEP! Yeah, you people are used to sleeping, get off the coaster and take a nap. I don't mind. I see people nodding off, they are walking like zombies at the breaks. The night air sets in and now it's COLD! I'm regretting wearing shorts, wind is blowing up the legs and now i'm trying not to pee myself. Now, I am wearing sunglasses at night, because they are keeping the wind out of my face. I pull the head sleeve thing all the way down to cover my ears and the top of my sunglasses. Pretty much I sealed my head up and aside from my legs being cold I'm doing good, of course by morning my legs are totally frozen and my gloves aren't even keeping my hands warm. We notice a news van in the parking lot, Cliff and I, like trained seals automatically wave and put our hands up for the camera man. The sun starts coming up and we are all thankful we made it through the night and can't wait to be warm again. Only six of us left now, we were supposed to ride Apocalypse in the middle of the night, but for some reason they changed it to morning. Over 200 laps now.
Breakfast is donuts, muffins, juice, and coffee. I find the Homer Simpson pink donut with sprinkles and drink a bunch of juice. We finally warm up and are feeling good...it's time to ride Apocalypse for three hours
! Yay, Colosuss is soooooo boring! First ride on Apocalypse...OUCH!!! Yes kiddies, three hours
of this, your welcome to quit. I think I got this wrapped up, but these guys won't give up. By the second hour they start to band together to finish the competition. We rode 30 times, two and half hours
maintenance got done early. I think had we rode that extra half hour a couple of them might have quit, but now after Apocalypse, Colossus
is a cake walk. I would have gladly rode Apocalypse as long as it took to win, but now that we are heading back to Colosuss I know that unless somebody falls asleep or gets sick, nobody is going to quit. In fact, at this point I was wondering if I was gonna be able to last the rest of the day myself, I was totally running on caffine.
They move us to the front of one train to let the GP ride with us. The lines were insane, and honestly at this point I was happy to get a little more of a break between rides while they loaded. They booted our support people out and pretty much it was the final stretch. News crews and newspaper reporters were interviewing us off and on. Lunch was pizza again, at this point i ate just to try to stay awake, drank a lot of soda along with some coffee energy drinks. My stomach was not feeling great after being shook up and down for over 24 hours
and consuming so much caffine. Hit 300 somewhere around 32 hours
in, we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. last dinner break, I run to the bathroom, run out to eat, run back to the coaster...Crap! I feel aweful, started sweating and feeling nascious, but three more hours
, I gotta just suck it up. I drank a bunch of water, started to feel better, I think it was dehydration, combined with the greasy chicken tenders that was the problem. After I got some water in me I felt a lot better, and was feeling almost normal in a couple of laps.
The final 2 hours
were nice, we all had a second wind, some of the Six Flags managment came out to cheer us on, and it seemed like there were news people all over. At this point everybody wanted us all to finish. It's all kind of a blur, the last hour went by really fast. I was trying to take pictures, send pictures, send updates, keep track of the laps, etc.. They let our support people back on at the end, I gave up my seat for one of the support people and went back and rode with Cliff for the final lap. Everyones support was all hyped up, taking pictures and video. We pull in and...let's do another lap for the news, okay? Ha! I'm not sure when they offically called time, but we definatly did the full time. I even suspect we did more laps than were recorded, because I think they forgot to record some laps. Anyway, we got off, news people all over, we each got a piece of Colossus
, and a button. They checked to make sure we had our information correct so they could send us our passes. We took a lot of pictues posing with our wood, I tried to make sure to hold it right under the "Theme Park Review" on my shirt, and held my TPR backpack toward the camera, gotta represent. They asked if we were driving home, Cliff had tracked down a hotel room for the night, best support person ever!
Would I do it again, yes. Would i recommend it, no. I was so beat up for a couple of days, Colossus
doesn't have a knock out punch, but after 36 hours
of jabbing you in the kidneys you don't feel too hot. Little bruises everywhere, I think we all had a bump on our calf from the seat in front of us. My stomach was a little ill, but I was happy to eat something other than park food. Of course, I was sunburned. A couple of people at the hotel had seen me on the news...no autographs please. Now that Colossus
is closed, I'm glad I got to do this, I know there will be something new, but I will miss this old icon. it'll be wierd not taking my kids on it, they always had to ride it, but at least they all got to ride it, and yeah that's pretty much it. I know I'm forgetting stuff and rambled a lot, but dude I was on a woodie for 36 hours
, you should expect a little brain damage.