The Gobi March (Mongolia) 2020 will take place in June. It is a 250-kilometer / 155-mile, seven day / six stage ultramarathon. The race begins on 21 June 2020. It is the 17th edition of the race.
The Gobi March (Mongolia) is part of RacingThePlanet’s 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series which has been named by TIME magazine as one of the Top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world.
Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia – this is where 45% of the population live. Ulaanbaatar is also the host town for the Gobi March (Mongolia).
During the race, competitors must carry all mandatory items in their backpack – see equipment list. The average pack weighs 9 kilograms / 20 pounds.
Competitors will sleep in traditional Gers (yurts) at some camps during the race.
Competitors are required to pass through up to 30 checkpoints throughout the seven-day race before crossing the finish line. Each checkpoint is around 10km apart.
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.
Up to 150 competitors representing more than 40 countries will compete in the Gobi March (Mongolia).
More than 50% of Gobi March (Mongolia) 2020 competitors are expected to have completed a previous RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts ultramarathon, with 50% joining for the first time.
The course of the Gobi March (Mongolia) follows the footsteps of the Great Genghis Khan with the race ending in Karakorum, the 13th and 14th century capital of Genghis Khan’s Empire, in the vast steppe.
Along the course, competitors will pass through the UNESCO Heritage Site of the stunning Orkhon Valley. It will be a mixture of open grasslands, sand dunes, rocky mountains, nomadic farmlands, great rock valleys, old forests, wide rivers and old heritage sites.
Laptops and tablets will be available for use in a specially designated Cybertents and CyberGERs to enable competitors to write blogs and exchange emails during the race. This is the only contact they have with the outside world during the week.
During the Gobi March (Mongolia), competitors, volunteers and staff are expected to consume up to 15,000 liters of water in total.
The climate in Mongolia in June is typically dry and sunny, although it’s well known for the weather to change dramatically – experiencing four seasons in one day is not unusual. Temperatures are likely to range between 5 - 30°C / 41 - 90°F during the day. They could get as low as 0°C / 32°F at night.
Mongolia is also referred to as “Land of the Eternal Sky”. This name has been earned from the 250 days (average) of blue sky it experiences each year (but don’t be fooled, a blue sky does not always mean high temperatures.)
Mongolia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world (there are more horses, cows and sheep than people!)
Much of the population of Mongolia still holds onto its old traditions and cultures. Gobi March (Mongolia) competitors will witness and experience this untouched culture in its natural form – in particular through the nomadic farms along the course.
Mongolia’s biggest celebration is the Naadam Festival which takes place in July each year, shortly after the end of the race. Traditional Naadam Festivals feature Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery – known as the “three games of men”.
RacingThePlanet and the Esquel-Y.L. Yang Education Foundation partnered to create the RacingThePlanet-Esquel Scholarship Programme to support education for girls in the Gobi region.
We are proud to say that many competitors raise money and awareness for charities around the globe through their participation in the Gobi March (Mongolia).
The fastest finish time on any Gobi March course was set by Vicente Garcia Beneito of Spain with an overall time of 23 hours and 12 minutes in 2012.