A hobby or an obsession?


Richard Rodríguez is a 39-year-old teacher at an American university. Richard has been interested in rollercoasters for more than 20 years. In fact, it’s more than a hobby now - it’s become an obsession!

Richard has always enjoyed rollercoasters, but he didn’t set his first world record until 1977. On that occasion, he rode a rollercoaster for 103 hours continuously. Since 1977, he’s broken his own record two times.

In 1998, Richard decided to break his own record of 549 hours at Blackpool Beach in the UK. Two days after Richard started riding the rollercoaster, a Canadian called Norman St Pierre started riding another rollercoaster in Montreal in Canada. After 670 hours, Norman St Pierre gave up and got off his rollercoaster. In Blackpool, Richard continued and rode the rollercoaster for a total of 1,013 hours. That’s 47 days and nights! During that time, he travelled about 18,000 kilometres - but of course, he didn’t go anywhere!

Did he enjoy the experience? “It was a great adventure,” he said, immediately after he finished. “The worst part of it was the rain.”

Meeting other passengers was the most interesting part. Richard talked happily to people from all over the world. When he wasn’t talking, he spent the time quietly reading magazines and newspapers.



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