TransPerfect-Sponsored Extreme Athlete Michele Graglia to Begin World Record Run Across the Gobi Desert
Posted on Sep 23, 2019 by Brad McCabe

Ultramarathoner Aims for Second Guinness World Record in Leg #2 of the TransPerfect 4x4 Desert Crossing Project

TransPerfect, the world's largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business, today announced the opening of the second leg of the TransPerfect 4x4 Desert Crossing Project, a global series of desert-crossing runs that will cover the Atacama, Gobi, Sahara, and Antarctic deserts over a four-year period. For the second leg of the series, extreme athlete and ultramarathoner Michele Graglia will attempt to become the first person to run across the full length of the Gobi Desert.

TransPerfect is the lead sponsor for this initiative, the second in a four-run series that Graglia is in the process of completing. As part of its sponsorship, TransPerfect and its employees will help promote the run in advance as well as offer on-site support with personnel and equipment. The company is sending a group of employees to Mongolia to accompany Graglia's professional support team as they make their way across the desert. They will also take video and photographs and provide social media updates to document this historic run.

The Gobi Desert spans 1,295,000 square kilometers (500,000 square miles) and covers parts of northern China and southern Mongolia. Graglia's route will start in Bayandelger, Mongolia, on Friday, September 20, and he plans to run approximately 90 kilometers each day to achieve the goal of completing the roughly 2,000-kilometer east-to-west route in under 30 days. While there are existing records for running parts of the Gobi, it is believed that this is the most ambitious crossing of the Gobi ever attempted, both in distance and time, as it covers the desert's entire length—a feat never before recorded.

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.

In 2018, Graglia completed the first leg of the TransPerfect 4x4 Desert Crossing Project, setting a Guinness World Record by running across Chile's Atacama Desert in 8 days, 16 hours, and 58 minutes.

Graglia commented, "Having TransPerfect behind me as we completed the Atacama crossing together last year was a huge part of our success in that effort. I am so grateful that they've continued to support me, both financially and spiritually, and I feel prepared and excited for the immense challenge that the Gobi crossing will present."

TransPerfect President and CEO Phil Shawe noted, "The strength of mind and body Michele exhibited in setting the record for his Atacama crossing last year was awe-inspiring and further elevated his status as one of the world's elite athletes. Even more impressive than his physical accomplishments is his motivating and selfless character—he lives to lift up others. TransPerfect is honored to support and participate in his crossing of the Gobi Desert."

Graglia's progress can be followed in real time via GPS live tracking:


INSTAGRAM: @mickeygraglia

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