August 5, 2006
Arlington, TX -- After 45 hours on the Judge Roy Scream roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas, ten survive the ride-a-thon co-sponsored by radio station KFWR 95.9. The promotion was part of Six Flags Over Texas 45th anniversary celebration. The park opened on August 5, 1961.
The ride-a-thon ended at 7 a.m. Friday morning with a host of Six Flags' characters there to greet the winners, but instead they chanted "one more time" and off the train went for one more round.
The final total was 555 laps or 260.68 miles.
Each winner received a grand prize all expense paid trip for two to any Six Flags park in the United States, $450 cash, four Six Flags Over Texas season passes for 2007, four Flash passes and Six Flags merchandise.
Winners celebrated their survival with an early morning slice of birthday cake and took photos with the Looney Tunes and Justice League characters.
To participate riders were required to ride the Judge Roy Scream roller coaster for nearly 24 hours a day for a total of 45 hours. Participants were given a 15-minute break every 45 minutes.
On Thursday morning relief came in the form of a one-hour break while Six Flags maintenance conducted a safety inspection. Six Flags provided bottled water, trail mix, snack food and thirst quenching drinks. Participants brought sunscreen and other necessities.
The ride-a-thon started on Wednesday morning with 19 participants. By Thursday morning 9 of the original 19 were out.
From that point on the remaining 10 survived an additional 19 hours of rides before being declared the winners.
During the night they were averaging between 18 to 19 laps an hour since only one train was used after Six Flags closed. Some of the participants claimed they were able to sleep during their 45-minute ride sessions at the night.
Six Flags management was surprised that so many survived the marathon. It was a first for the Texas theme park.
Obviously, management wasn't aware of the roller coaster ride-a-thons that took place in San Diego seven and nine years ago.
In 1997, Belmont Park along with radio station Star 100.7 held the "Whirl Til You Hurl" marathon on the Giant Dipper wooden coaster to celebrate coaster's 75th anniversary. The marathon ended after 11 days when all three remaining contestants were awarded new cars.
Two years later the park and same radio station held a second marathon that lasted for 70 days. More than 18,000 rides later, five contestants won an equal share of $50,000 cash and a much deserved trip for two to Hawaii.
The winners of Six Flags Over Texas' Judge Roy Scream marathon:
Cassidee Avary, 24, Justin
Thomas Blount, 22, Arlington
Don Carlson, 19, Austin
Nathan Laughlin, 24, Arlington
Tyrell Memmott, 23, Milsap
Polly Nichols, 41, Santa Fe
Charlie Ortiz, 28, Wylie
Clayton Seale, 21, Carlton
Sean Shaver, 38, Houston
Dawayne Vanderwork, 33, Fort Worth
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