The host city for the Gobi March is Hami, which is located in the north-west of the Xinjiang Province. Hami is most famous for the "Hami Melon".
The Tian Shan Mountain range is the backdrop for the course, which takes competitors through alpine scenery with green grasslands, pristine mountain lakes, river valleys, salt flats, sand dunes and villages of ethnic minorities.
The terrain is a mixture of rocky river-beds, dusty tracks, narrow ridge paths, green pastures, sand dunes, salt flats, villages and some river crossings.
Temperatures during the Gobi March can vary greatly with a range between 15-30°C / 59-86°F during the day and as low as 0°C / 32°F at night.
Up to 200 competitors representing 40 countries are expected to compete in the Gobi March 2015.
Exactly 50% of Gobi March 2015 competitors have completed a previous 4 Deserts or Roving Race, with 50% joining the 4 Deserts Race Series for the first time.
The fastest finish time on any Gobi March course is held by Vicente Garcia Beneito of Spain with an overall time of 23 hours and 12 minutes in 2012.
The fastest women's finish on any Gobi March course is held by Anne-Marie Flammersfeld of Germany with an overall time of 27 hours and 53 minutes in 2012.
Approximately 20% of competitors run the entire course, 60% combine running with walking, and 20% walk the entire course. The fastest completion time is expected to be around 24 hours and the slowest around 70 hours.
The Gobi March is a self-supported race; competitors must carry all mandatory items for seven days on their backs. The average backpack weighs 9 kilograms / 20 pounds.
RacingThePlanet and the Esquel-Y.L. Yang Education Foundation partnered to create the RacingThePlanet-Esquel Scholarship Program, a seven-year program (2013-2019) to support education for girls in the Gobi Desert. In 2015 we will sponsor 30 Uyghur girls through high school and university having added an additional 10 girls to the programme each year since 2012.
Competitors use tablets in a specially designated Cybertent to write blogs and exchange emails during the race.
During the Gobi March, competitors, volunteers and staff are expected to consume up to 20,000 liters of water in total.
Competitors are required to pass through up to 30 checkpoints throughout the seven-day event before crossing the finish line.