Qualified yoga teacher and endurance athlete Michele Graglia recently completed a unique run across Asia’s remote Gobi Desert. His achievement highlights how yoga can underpin any fitness regime, no matter how tough the athlete or how difficult the challenge. Italian ultramarathoner Graglia, also a former model, completed the feat with a total time of 23 days, 8 hours, and 46 minutes, covering a distance of some 1,703 kilometres. He finished in the Mongolian village of Altai, where cheering fans and supporters celebrated his arrival. When he’s not running in the desert, modelling or training, Graglia has been teaching yoga to students in the USA. And it’s this core fitness that has allowed him to test himself with
a series of endurance challenges in recent years, regularly competing at the world’s highest level for races of more than 26.2 miles.
Yoga instructor and endurance athlete, Michele Graglia, completes desert challenge
That includes winning events such as the Badwater 135, considered the world’s toughest foot race, and one of the most
prestigious titles on the ultramarathon circuit. The Gobi Desert, which spans 1,295,000 square kilometres and covers parts of northern China and southern Mongolia, was perhaps his greatest test of all. On average, Graglia ran 73 kilometres every day, typically beginning before 6am and finishing around 6pm. “The Gobi is many things: beautiful, remote, dramatic, but most of all, unforgiving,” he said after completing the race. “Completing this run was a more gruelling physical and mental challenge than I could have ever imagined.”