Michele Graglia, the dune hunter

2022 was the first year that saw Michele Graglia rise to the role of leader and guide among the immense expanses and dunes of the Merzouga desert, on the occasion of the annual Desert Running Camp, an internship event promoted by The Italian Outdoor School (www.scuolaitalianaoutdoor.it). Michele boasts a running curriculum with podiums and prestigious victories that have led him to be among the most popular ultra-runners in the world.
With Michele we talk about his experience at Desert Running Camp 2022, keeping an eye on both his past and the near future.

Hi Michele, life always reserves great surprises, even in the most extreme environments on earth. Since 2022 you have become the point of reference for all those who want to try running in the desert at the Desert Running Camp. What is the vote you give yourself as a Desert Trainer and what was the feedback from the participants in last year’s edition?
Personally I would give full marks to the Camp but I can hardly rate myself. I just know that I do my best to ensure safety as well as a unique and unforgettable experience! The feedback from all past participants has always been more than positive, proof of which is the fact that year after year there are many runners who return to relive those days between sand and stars!

Running is a long journey that begins and never seems to end. What was the evolution that led you to tackle long distances first and then the desert, always running?
Running has always represented freedom, research and exploration. Not only of the places you pass through but also of yourself.
An opportunity to confront each other, and feel connected. With my own self. After numerous adventures among the most beautiful landscapes of this lot, I have found that being in a fascinating and vast environment like the desert has always emphasized this wonderful experience even more.

How did you feel in the role of host and guide towards those who participated in Desert Running Camp 2022?
For me it’s a privilege to be able to share my passion for the great void. Running on sand dunes with the sun on the horizon, without a trace or a path and being able to feel free to follow any direction you want, in complete freedom is a gift and an experience that changes inside.

What did you take away from this experience?Each time you learn something different. Because the desert changes, like us after all. Feeling free to play and jump off the golden dunes brings us back not only to our primordiality but also a little closer to our being children.

2023 will see you once again at the start of this adventure: how is it possible to register and participate in the next edition of the Desert Running Camp and what do you feel like saying to all those who would like to join you in this experience?
It is a unique experience and I invite all interested parties to visit our website:
or contact us directly on IG @mickeygraglia or @desertrunningcamps

Discover Desert Running Camp and all fascinating RTW races      HERE

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Foto credit: Desert Running Camp

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