August 8th, 2007
In the bid to break the world record for longest time on a rollercoaster, a man has finally succeeded by spending over nine days on the Pepsi Max Big One rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
The rider, Richard Rodriguex, is an American world record holder who is in fact still on the rollercoaster after beating the previous record of nine days. He already held the world record for nearly 30 years till he was beaten last year. Now, the proud holder once again, he says:
“It feels amazing to be the world record holder once again, but I’m not just going to give up now – I want to stay on for as long as possible and make my record a solid one. The ride crews and all the visitors who have come to support me have been a great help and have inspired me to stay positive during this successful record attempt, so I’d like to thank them all.”
It is astonishing to think that Mr Rodriguez has to spend so many hours on this white-knuckle ride when most people can barely manage one go. He has to eat, drink and sleep on it but gets five minutes every hour to allow him to shower and/or visit the toilet.
Naturally, many have speculated about how this extreme action may harm Mr Rodriguez’s health. As Dr Graham Archard, vice-chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, explains:
“Being on a rollercoaster this long could cause sleep deprivation, which in turn would lead to tiredness and lethargy, and could affect the immune system, making him more susceptible to coughs and colds. Unless he’s wearing a neck brace, it could cause neck problems that may stay with him for life, and aches and pains in his joints from hanging on too tightly. He could also develop a rare condition called ‘mal de debarquement syndrome’, which leaves people permanently off-balance, possibly for life.”
One can only wonder what it is about such madness that appeals to people like Mr Rodriguez. After all, surely the pleasure and fun of a rollercoaster soon diminishes and one is left with nothing but tiredness and overall suffering.