TransPerfect-Sponsored Extreme Athlete Michele Graglia to Begin World Record Run Across the Gobi Desert

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

Michele Graglia on his Guinness World Record run across Chile’s Atacama Desert. (Photo: Business Wire)

NEW YORK & ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia--()--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

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.

About TransPerfect

TransPerfect is the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business. From offices in over 90 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


Ryan Simper +1 212.689.5555


Ryan Simper +1 212.689.5555