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Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Zachary Cross performs tricks on his pogo stick in Coolidge Park.

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Zachary Cross doesn't like to fall.

"You'd think doing this sport I'd be more OK with that. But I'm not. I like stay in my comfort zone," says Cross, a Chattanooga pogo enthusiast. "Basically, I just don't practice tricks. Trek pogo, that's what I like to call what I do."

Rather than focusing on tucks, grabs or spins, trek pogo is about speed and distance.

In 2017, one year after he began pogoing, Cross claimed the Guinness World Record for fastest pogo-mile at 9 minutes, 35 seconds. One week later, his record was broken. A month after that, it was broken again, setting the new world record at 7 minutes, 40 seconds, where it stands today.

Zachary “The Pogo Guy” Cross

Age: 20

Job: Full-time humanities major at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; part-time employee at Mojo Burrito

Hometown: Chattanooga

Farthest distance traveled by pogo: 4 miles

Fastest pogo-mile to date: 8 minutes, 25 seconds

Claim to fame: 2017 Guinness World Record-holder for fastest pogo-mile at 9 minutes, 35 seconds*

*The current world record is 7 minutes, 40 seconds, which was set just a month after Cross’.

Pogo goal: To win back the world record

Cost of professional pogo stick: $430

Surprising fact about pogoing: “It’s all in your core.”

Best reaction: “Once, I had just come through Coolidge Park, and somebody shouted, ‘You’re my inspiration!’”

 

This July, Cross had the opportunity to go stick-to-stick with the other two record-breakers during Pogopalooza, a two-day extreme pogo competition hosted in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Leading up to the event, the three worked together to organize this special event in which they'd compete against one another in a 1-mile pogo race.

Cross came in second with a time of 8 minutes, 25 seconds.

(Read more: Kennedy: UTC sophomore hopped into history with pogo stick world record)

"I definitely shaved some time off my previous record, so I felt good about that," he says.

Back in 2017 when his world record was broken in a week, Cross says, "It was kind of funny, but I was also kind of like, I need to get that again."

In addition to reclaiming his record, Cross' other pogo goal is to learn a few tricks, just to round out his pogo resume. He'd also like to one day complete a marathon on his pogo stick — a feat accomplished only once before. In 2014, one man traveled 26.2 miles over 24 hours on his pogo stick, earning him, of course, a Guinness World Record.

"That might be a long-term, extreme goal," Cross says. "But it's floating around in my brain for sure."

some text Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Zachary Cross hops on his pogo stick in Coolidge Park Tuesday, September 17, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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