The 4 Deserts Race Series was founded in February 2002 in Hong Kong. The first event in the 4 Deserts Race Series was held in September 2003, near Dunhuang, China, and called the Gobi March. Less than a year later, in July 2004, the Atacama Crossing was held in Chile, followed by the first Sahara Race in Egypt in September 2005. The Last Desert in Antarctica was inaugurated in January 2006. These events required competitors to traverse 250 kilometers of rough country terrain over seven days with only a place in a tent and water provided each day. They were supported by highly qualified staff, all with experience in hiking, marathons and ultramarathons, and a medical team specializing in emergency and wilderness medicine.
The four races combine to create the annual 4 Deserts Race Series, which is now widely recognized as the most prestigious outdoor footrace series in the world. TIME magazine ranked the 4 Deserts series as one of the Top Ten Endurance Events in the world for two consecutive years.
The Gobi March 2014 takes place in Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture and Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Xinjiang Province. Along the 250 kilometers / 155 miles of the course, the terrain includes grasslands, farmlands, dirt tracks, riverbeds, rolling hills, mountain valleys, plains and plateaus.