There are no course markings along the race course, and often there is no trail to follow.
Navigation is done by following a preloaded track on a hand – held GPS unit. The runners are provided with the file which contains the track as well as the rest stations and the checkpoints.
There are no topographic maps available for public use in China.
Navigation is very easy, most of the course consists of very long straight lines in open terrain, but it is essential that the runners learn how to use their GPS unit properly. Many runners, in the past, have come to the race under the impression that they can follow some kind of trail and markings or follow others, but they inevitably got lost.
Learning how to use your GPS during the race, especially in the cold of the night, is not a good idea.
Using navigational software on your phone, instead of a hand-held GPS, is not allowed, and is not practical – first, the touch screen is difficult to use in the rain and snow, and also batteries run out fast. You need an actual hand held GPS. Runners will not be allowed to start without it.
If you do not have a hand held GPS, and need one just for this race, we recommend buying an older model – Garmin Oregon 550. Second hand units can be bought on-line very cheaply. The set of functions offered by Oregon 550 is more than sufficient for the race, and there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a new model.
Before the race you are strongly advised to ask for help from our staff if you are not sure how to use your GPS. Knowing how to use your GPS quickly and efficiently will save you a great deal of time during the race.