PSU Engineering Professor Sets World Record

As an engineering professor at Portland State, Christof Teuscher’s day job involves teaching students how to design smaller and more efficient computer chip designs. But nights and weekends his focus turns to shrinking something else entirely — the amount of time it takes to traverse the mountains and trails of the Pacific Northwest.

Recently the 46-year-old Teuscher set a new world record by running self-supported and unassisted on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) through Washington from the Canada border to the Bridge of the Gods in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. He completed the 515-mile trek in 10 days, 1 hour and 26 minutes. It takes an average thru-hiker around 30 days to complete that distance.

Self-supported means that Teuscher didn’t pack all the supplies he needed for the journey ahead of time. Instead he was unassisted and relied on resupply packages as the traditional PCT thru-hikers do.

“The trip was spectacular in every possible way,” said Teuscher, who was born and educated in Switzerland and has called Portland home for the past 10 years. “But the heat and bugs created a real challenge for me to hit my daily mileage targets. Unfortunately, my wheels came off during the last night and day of my trek. I decided to move through the night to make up for some time. But alas, in a matter of hours, my feet more or less disintegrated in front of my eyes.”

Despite his difficulties, Teuscher completed his journey on July 31 after running more than 50 miles per day and now holds the fastest known time for completing the Pacific Crest Trail self-supported through Washington state.

Teuscher is no stranger to logging records for runs in the region. In 2015 he was the first to climb both Mount Adams and Mount Hood and run the 158 miles between them. And in 2016 he completed the 750-mi Oregon Desert Trail in a record time of 17 days and climbed Oregon's five tallest mountains and ran the distances between them in 67 hours.

Source: Portland State University

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