We are excited to return to Mongolia for the 2023 edition of the Gobi March after four years (a forced break due to COVID) and we have a diverse, interesting and competitive field of racers.

Read below for some race stats and our pre-race summary of the top contenders.

  • 31 countries represented
  •  28% female / 72% male
  • Youngest person is 18 years old
  • Oldest person is 73 years young
  • 53% are first-timers / 47% have completed a RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon before
  • 12 people are 4 Deserts Club members and one person will join the 4 Deserts Club after completing the Gobi March
  • 5 husband-wife partnerships


Countries Represented

There are 31 countries represented.

The most represented country is United States, followed by Korea (South), Japan. The United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Poland are all well represented.

Other countries range from Oman, Vietnam, Latvia, Philippines, UAE and more.


Female/Male Ratio

28% of the field are female while 72% are male.


Oldest & Youngest

The oldest person is 73 year-old 4 Deserts Club veteran and Cancer survivor Gunnar Faehn from Norway. Bob Huffman from the United States is the other racer in the 70+ age group category who is racing.

The youngest person is 18 year old River Fife from the United States who is racing with her father. There are twelve people in the 20’s who are racing.


First-Timers vs. Returning Racers

53% of the field are racing for the first time.

Among the 47% who have started a race before, twelve are 4 Deserts Club members. This includes a number of 4 Deserts Grand Slam and Grand Slam Plus achievers. Many are from 2022. Filippo Rossi returns after completing the Grand Slam in 2016.

The Gobi March is the eleventh RacingThePlanet Ultra for David Grosse, from the United Kingdom.   His first race was in 2010.


Among the racers there are CEO’s students, pilots, vets, retiree’s, teachers, social workers, a bar tender and a chocolate maker. 

There are five husband / wife duos, a father-daughter duo, and several small groups of friends racing together as well as many people who are joining on their own.


Top Contenders

It is looking to be an exciting race with many fast racers hoping for a podium place. The top contenders are below, but no doubt there will be some surprises as well.




  • Reinhold Hugo (SWI)
  • David Dano (ISR)
  • Rob Ripley (USA)
  • Ken Rideout (USA)


  •  Victoria Connelly (UK)
  •  Lara Reynolds (RSA / HK)
  •  Elise Zender (GER)
  • Beth Whitman (USA)

Others to watch out for include Michal Gawron, Michael Williams, Filippo Rossi




Reinhold Hugo won RacingThePlanet: Georgia 2021 and the Namib Race 2022.

David Dano was 3rd in the Namib Race 2022

Rob Ripley won the Namib Race 2021 at the age of 60 and came 4th at the Atacama Crossing despite some injuries along the way.

Ken Rideout is joining his first RacingThePlanet Ultra but some very fast race finishes to his name.


Victoria Connelly was the 1st place women (and 6th overall!) at the Namib Race 2022. She was also the 2nd women home at her first RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon at the Atacama Crossing in 2018.

Lara Reynolds has finished in the Top 10 of all five races that he has completed – she was Top 4 in most of them and won the Atacama Crossing 2018 and came 2nd at The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2022.

Beth Whitman has had a number of Top 10 finishes including 3rd at the Namib Race 2021.

Elise Zender has got stronger and stronger at each race that she has completed with a best finish of 4th place at the Special Edition of RacingThePlanet: Georgia 2022.