The host city for the Gobi March is Bole, which is located in the Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture of the Xinjiang Province. Bortala shares an international border with Kazakhstan and is known for the colorful culture of its Mongol, Kazakh and Uyghur minorities.
The Altai Mountains will be the backdrop for the course, which takes competitors through alpine scenery with green grasslands, pristine mountain lakes, river valleys and villages of ethnic minorities.
The terrain is a mixture of rocky river-beds, dusty tracks, narrow ridge paths, green pastures 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 more than 40 countries are expected to compete in the Gobi March 2014.
Up to 30% of Gobi March 2014 competitors are expected to have completed a previous RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts event.
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 everything they need 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.