For the most enthusiastic and die-hard coaster addicts out there, the coaster marathon – AKA coasterthon – is the be all and end all. After riding roller coasters around the country and even around the world, most will say that it is pretty easy to endure riding any roller coaster at least once. No matter the fears that may be present, riding a roller coaster once and getting that all-important coaster credit is fairly easy. However, many coaster addicts, both young and old, seek out bigger and sometimes crazier challenges. Often, after a ride on a roller coaster, an addict might contemplate and internally debate just how many laps he or she could successfully endure. In the end, these coaster addicts do not want to face the “Walk of Shame!” So, how can that be ensured? How can the risk be mitigated? Here are six helpful tips to improve the odds of avoiding this embarrassing and frustrating walk.
There are some cases where the coaster that presents itself for marathoning is one that is unfamiliar. Sure, it might not be often that a coaster not previously ridden by the coaster enthusiasts presents itself for marathoning, so enthusiasts could be familiar with the ride as a result of previous ride experiences. Still, that cannot be taken for granted. Learn and relearn the roller coaster if at all possible. If the enthusiast is taller or bigger build, it is best to test out different seats too. It would be no fun for the enthusiast to show up only to find out the restraint system used on that roller coaster will not work well with his or her body type. It is plausible that an enthusiast can wing it and just show up to a roller coaster and ride it for the duration of the coasterthon, but that could increase the risk that he or she falls short during the event.
Test! Test! Test!
Sometimes, for example, a ride experience on a roller coaster will differ between two seasons, between times of the operating season, between varying trains on the track, and between various seats on each train. If at all possible, it is encouraged that the enthusiasts participating in the coasterthon take the time to test out the ride a bit and run through a few different settings and scenarios and note how the body reacts. Maybe, some seats are more difficult to be in for that particular roller coaster. Also, test out how the body reacts while fully hydrated or with a full stomach.
Know The Rules
No two coasterthons are alike, and that difference is not limited by the roller coaster(s) selected for the event. Often, the rules are different. How long is the event? When are the scheduled breaks? What are the riders allowed to do and not do? Will there be a lot of seat rotations or none at all? While experiences from other coasterthon events will help during future event situations, it is not always best to just rely on that. Going in blind, so to speak, is not the best idea.
Know Your Body
Everybody’s physical body is different. Each person has his or her own set of limitations. Some enthusiasts might have endured medical situations in his or her past. Knowing this and how to detect problems on the fly can be extremely helpful! Some other things to consider might include how the body reacts to eating and drinking different types of food and beverages, respectively. Some people, for example, might get an upset stomach quicker than others. When that happens, what is the best remedy that works for the enthusiast? Taking a Tums or chewing on a few mints could mean the difference between lasting the entire time or laps during the coasterthon or be sidelined as the event continues on. Again, the event rules come into play in that regard, but being able to react to situations as they occur is critical. Being observant and proactive while being able to adapt and react as new issues arise can make a huge difference between whether the enthusiast endures the “Walk of Shame” or proudly completes the goal.
A coasterthon can be taxing on the body. By doing all of the above with due diligence and precision, a coaster enthusiast should know his or her limitations, physical strengths, and potential hurdles. In some cases, that might mean that some endurance training could be helpful to the coasterthon participant. For shorter, intense roller coasters, for example, maybe some quick sprints could help build the stamina needed. On the other hand, roller coasters with longer layouts might call for slower paced workouts of some degree. In some cases, the enthusiast will be in the shape he or she needs to be in, but there is always a chance that the enthusiast is not ready for the task at hand. Still, that does not mean that success in this case is impossible; it just means that success might take a little more work.
Mind Over Matter
At the end of the day, all of the physical preparation in the world will be all for not if the mind is not ready. Mental strength might often be overlooked, but it is extremely important if success is to be had during the coasterthon. Being as prepared to face any adversity and pulling through is makes a significant difference. The mind is very powerful. Often, even if the investigation is not done, testing is ignored, the rulebook is never read, or the physical body is not examined and prepared, mental toughness can get you through the finish line! Along the way, enthusiasts should look to enjoy the challenge as best as possible. Lastly, having a purpose and the internal drive to reach that finish line can be the difference maker. Riding for others, on behalf of others, and with some motivation or purpose can get any enthusiast through a dark moment during the event!
Following the six steps above, any coaster addict can improve his or her chances of avoid the dreaded “Walk of Shame!” Certainly, there are no guarantees, but being as prepared as possible is always the best avenue to take!