TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business, today announced that official company-sponsored ultramarathoner and extreme athlete Michele Graglia successfully completed his attempt to be the first person to run across the entire Gobi Desert. Graglia completed the feat with a total time of 23 days, 8 hours, and 46 minutes, covering a distance of 1,703 kilometers. He finished in the Mongolian village of Altai, where cheering fans and supporters celebrated his arrival.
On average, Graglia ran 73 kilometers per 24 hours, typically beginning before 6:00 AM and finishing around 6:00 PM. His most prolific day featured a 5:16 AM start and a finish past 8:00 PM in the evening, covering a total of 84 kilometers. No rest days were taken for the duration of the crossing.
Graglia and TransPerfect are in the process of seeking certification as a Guinness World Record. Extensive research has shown that, while some have completed runs across portions of the Gobi, no person has ever completed a run across the entire Gobi on its longest east-west axis. This is the most complete crossing of the entire desert ever completed, and Graglia and TransPerfect are optimistic that the Guinness team will acknowledge the singularity of this achievement.
In 2018, Graglia set a Guinness World Record when he completed a crossing of Chile’s Atacama Desert in 8 days, 16 hours, and 58 minutes in a challenge also sponsored by TransPerfect.
As lead sponsor for this initiative, TransPerfect is committed to supporting exceptional people who challenge themselves to do exceptional things. As part of its sponsorship, TransPerfect provided on-site support, including sending several teams of employees to Mongolia to provide assistance and document the run.
The Gobi Desert spans 1,295,000 square kilometers (500,000 square miles) and covers parts of northern China and southern Mongolia. Graglia is one of the world’s most successful ultramarathoners, regularly competing at the world’s highest level for races of more than 26.2 miles, winning events such as the Badwater® 135—considered “The World’s Toughest Foot Race”—one of the most prestigious titles on the ultramarathon circuit. Graglia has won multiple ultramarathons and broken more than seven course records since 2012.
Graglia commented, “The Gobi is many things: beautiful, remote, dramatic, but most of all, unforgiving. Completing this run was a more grueling physical and mental challenge than I could have ever imagined. My support team and all of my friends at TransPerfect have my deepest gratitude; without their encouragement and belief in me, success would have been impossible.”
TransPerfect President and CEO Phil Shawe remarked, “We knew that the Gobi would present a daunting challenge, but based on the first-hand reports relayed by our employees from the field, even our most outlandish forecasts underestimated the true enormity/amplitude of the challenges Michele faced. A triumph of this magnitude calls on the greatest depths of a person, both in endurance and in character. Fortunately, Michele is supremely qualified in both regards, and it’s a true honor to have him wear the TransPerfect name on his shirt.”
Details on Graglia’s route can be seen on his GPS tracker, which followed his progress in real time: https://eur-share.inreach.garmin.com/BCFP5
About Michele Graglia
A native Italian and former international model who lived in Miami, New York City, and Milan as part of his modeling career, Michele discovered in 2011 that his true passion resided far away from the cameras and jet-set lifestyle. He started running ultramarathons, and in January 2012 he won a 50-mile race through the Everglades in South Florida; since then, he has won virtually every race he has entered.
Specializing in trail and extreme races through some of the most demanding terrain on Earth, Michele has run over 25 ultras to date, including several 100 miles or longer. He now resides in Los Angeles, California, where he balances his life between ultrarunning, yoga teaching, guiding hikes, endurance coaching, and nutritional planning.
TransPerfect is the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business. From offices in over 100 cities on six continents, TransPerfect offers a full range of services in 170+ languages to clients worldwide. More than 5,000 global organizations employ TransPerfect’s GlobalLink® Product Suite to simplify management of multilingual content. With an unparalleled commitment to quality and client service, TransPerfect is fully ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certified. TransPerfect has global headquarters in New York, with regional headquarters in London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at www.transperfect.com.