Six Flags Magic Mountain's Colossus Roller Coaster Ending With Marathon Rides

Colossus opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif. in June 1978. It will close for good August 16.

Six Flags Magic Mountain's Colossus -- the iconic white, wooden roller coaster seen from the Golden State (5) Freeway in Valencia -- is shutting down for good, but not before giving some riders a final few hundred rides.

To celebrate the end of an era when the 36-year-old ride closes Aug. 16, the park invited 24 roller coaster enthusiasts to ride Colossus for 36 straight hours starting 9 a.m. Monday. 

As of noon Tuesday, six people were still riding the roller coaster.

Riders get a 15-minute break each hour. The winner of the last-man-sitting competition when the marathon ends at 9 p.m. will get annual VIP park passes to Magic Mountain. 

Hundreds of people vied for one of the 24 seats when Six Flags announced the competition.

One of the marathoners said she rode Colossus for the first time when she was six years old.

"My mother cried and I laughed and it's been my favorite ride every since," Nicole Bledsoe said Tuesday.

Each ride, about two minutes long, covers about a mile of track and features two 100-foot drops, reaching up to 62 miles per hour.

Colossus took the media and Southern California by storm when it opened in June 1978. It was the world's fastest and tallest wooden roller coaster, and the first to feature two drops that are more than 100 feet steep. 

"It's an iconic coaster that everybody knows," said Caesar Deharo, a marathon ride participant. 

Six Flags said it's closing the "granddaddy of all roller coasters" to offer new thrills.

"We have an amazing collection of coasters so we're always trying to take it to the next level," said parks spokeswoman Connie Lujan. 

Deharo said he is both excited to see a new roller coaster and sad to see the classic one go.

Six Flags will announce the ride's replacement Aug. 28.

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