RacingThePlanet was founded by American Mary K Gadams and commenced operations from its base in Hong Kong in February 2002. The first race under its banner was the Gobi March held in September 2003 near Dunhuang, China – and introduced trail running races to China. The next race to be added to the series was the Atacama Crossing in Chile which took place in July 2004 followed by the first Sahara Race in Egypt in September 2005, while The Last Desert in Antarctica was inaugurated in January 2006.
These races combine to create the annual 4 Deserts series, which is now widely recognized as the most prestigious outdoor series in the world.
In February 2008, a fifth event was added to the RacingThePlanet calendar called the "roving race." This race, of similar format, moves to a different location each year, with the first event having been held among the rice terraces of Sapa in northwest Vietnam, the second in 2009 in the Fish River Canyon and Skeleton Coast of Namibia, the third in 2010 in the Outback of Australia, the fourth in 2011 in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal, and the most recent in 2012 from Wadi Rum to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. The next "roving race" is scheduled for Iceland in 2013.
- To challenge individuals to go beyond their athletic frontiers through two world class sporting events: the 4 Deserts series and the 'roving' race, while exploring the most remote landscapes and ancient cultures on the planet.
- To provide the knowledge, innovative products and services to enable all aspiring individuals to succeed in RacingThePlanet events and to inspire them with a life enhancing experience.
- To document and contribute to improving the lives of ethnic minorities and tribes in the areas we explore, and to encourage and support competitors to raise funds for their charities.
RacingThePlanet supports charities and initiatives in the areas where its races are held. To date, RacingThePlanet has raised more than US$500,000 to support Operation Smile missions in Vietnam, Egypt and China. In addition, RacingThePlanet has donated books, computers and sports equipment to local schools in Xinjiang Province, China and Windhoek, Namibia, and money totalling US$45,000 to support earthquake victims in Sichuan, China through its Gobi March event. RacingThePlanet competitors have raised millions of US dollars for hundreds of charities around the world.
Headquartered in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, RacingThePlanet has a worldwide presence through its 14 representative offices in Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Spain and Taiwan.
Aside from the core activity of organizing highly regarded endurance footraces, RacingThePlanet's business units include its online outdoor product store and freeze dried food company.
The company employs 35 full time staff in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, 160 contractors worldwide and over 100 volunteers annually at its events.
RacingThePlanet is a unique category of rough country footraces that take place over seven days and some 250 kilometers in remote and culturally rich locations around the world.
Competitors must carry all their own equipment and food; they are only provided with water and a place in a tent each day, but are supported by professional medical and operations teams.
RacingThePlanet is international; the events typically involve competitors from over 40 different countries who are able to mingle around the campfires and in their geographically mixed tents.
RacingThePlanet and 4 Deserts entries are capped at between 150 and 200 competitors to ensure that the races retain their unique character, and to minimize the impact of our presence. The locations we visit are remote, pristine and sparsely populated. Solitude is a highly regarded aspect of our events.
Currently the events consist of the 4 Deserts, a series which encompasses the Gobi Desert in China, the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Sahara Desert in Egypt and Antarctica, and a fifth event that roves to a new location each year.
Time Magazine recently ranked the 4 Deserts #2 on its list of the world's top endurance competitions.
For more information about our races please visit our website: www.4deserts.com.
RacingThePlanet provides the best outdoor equipment, clothing and nutrition through its rapidly growing online store.
The RacingThePlanet and 4 Deserts races provide the ultimate testing ground for endurance racing, outdoor, and rugged technology products.
The expertise and knowledge gathered by RacingThePlanet and our participants enables us to credibly identify the most reliable, useful, innovative and lightweight outdoor products available and ship them worldwide.
With selections made and guidance given by considering activity, terrain and climate, RacingThePlanet's international online store is the top resource for endurance racers and outdoor enthusiasts in the world (products are shipped from warehouses in both Hong Kong and the UK).
There are a number of job opportunities available. If you have experience in event management, internet retailing or IT, please send a CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RacingThePlanet accepts more than 100 volunteers annually to support its footraces around the world. If you'd like to apply for one of the highly coveted volunteer positions, please click here to learn more, and click here to complete an online application.