Minister, 70, Rides Roller Coaster 7,000 Times

A 70-year-old minister has ridden the same roller coaster 7,000 times since 2009. Gary Coleman (above, right), who is now retired, has spent more than 350 hours on the Diamondback coaster at Ohio’s Kings Island amusement park, according to ABC News.

Coleman pulled off his feat on the Fourth of July, while most Americans were scarfing down their Thanksgiving turkey.

When Cincinnati’s Fox 19 asked the Ohio minister about his fondness for roller coasters, his answer was as straightforward as they come: it’s fun.

“I’ve always loved roller coasters since I’ve been a kid. It’s been a hobby. It’s what I like to do. I like to relax doing it. It’s a form of relaxation.”

One mind-boggling fact to be drawn from the coasterthon is the statistic that the minister has travelled a distance on the Diamondback equal to someone traveling across the U.S. and more than halfway back again. Yeesh. To mark his 7,000th ride, Coleman wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the number 7,000.

This season alone, the minister has visited the amusement park 32 times, venturing onto the Diamondback on 1,190 separate occasions – that’s 37 rides a day.

He slacked off considerably in 2010, when he got on board a mere 19 rides a day. But on June 17, he set a personal best, taking the ride 111 times. It’s certainly an adrenaline-pumping way to spend a retirement. Coleman is a man with some lofty targets, however, as he revealed to ABC:

“My goal is to hit 10,000 rides by the end of next year. I love it. I think it’s fun. I just really enjoy it.”

Good for you, Gary! Now let’s see what you’ve seen … 7,000 times already (fun fact: I get sick just watching roller coaster videos):