The host city for the Gobi March is Hami, which is located in the north-west of the Xinjiang Province. It is the location of the Gobi March in 2006 and 2015.
The terrain is a mixture of strange rock area, a mountain pass, rocky river-beds, dusty tracks, green pastures, sand dunes, small villages, the Black Gobi and there are some river crossings.
Temperatures during the Gobi March can vary greatly with a range between 0-40°C / 32- 104°F during the day and as low as 0°C / 32°F at night. This variety is due to the change in elevation gain – the race starts at 2,400m / 7,874 feet and finishes at 500m / 1,640 feet.
Up to 200 competitors representing more than 40 countries are expected to compete in the Gobi March 2016.
More than 50% of Gobi March 2016 competitors are expected to 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 2014 we will sponsor 10 Uyghur girls into their third year of high school and add ten new Uyghur girls to the programme, sponsoring them to join their second year at high school.