What is MapRun?
With MapRun you use a map to find a series of locations (commonly called controls) against the clock while travelling on foot. Your smartphone or smartwatch (Garmin only at the moment) is used to time your walk/run and to tick off the locations using its GPS as you find them. You can take part by yourself or in a group, but the beauty of MapRun is that, even when you do it on your own, once you have finished your course you can instantly view your results and compare how you did to everyone else who has done the course. It is a form of orienteering, but you do not need to be familiar with orienteering to enjoy MapRun. There are MapRun events all around the world in a variety of places, from cities and towns to parkland and forests. In general, local orienteering clubs will have created the courses in their area.
There are 3 main types of events:
- Line course - find all the controls in the right order as quickly as possible
- Scatter course - find all the controls in any order as quickly as possible
- Score course - find as many controls as you can in the time limit. Each control is worth a number of points; they may all have the same value or they may vary. The highest number of points wins. You will lose points if you are late back
What do I need to take part?
Firstly, find an event and download the map for the course you want to do. Remember the name of the course so that you can recognise it within the MapRunF/MapRun6 app. Also, take a note of where the start is (as it will not be marked on the ground) and details such as parking and a postcode to navigate to. While you can look at the map on your phone as you run, it is much better to print a map out; these are generally provided as PDF files. When you print the map, we recommend you print it at 100% (do not select options that say Fit to page or such like). Maps are generally of two different types:
- Standard orienteering maps are highly detailed and have a specific colour scheme and layout which is the same all around the world
- OpenOrienteeringMap (OOM) maps are based on OpenStreetMap data and show all the major details you will need such as roads, paths, rivers and grassland, but do not have a lot of fine detail
Most importantly, you need a compatible smartphone (Apple or Android) with the MapRunF or MapRun6 app. MapRun6 is the latest version, but MapRunF has been more widely tested. The two apps can co-exist on your phone. If you have a compatible Garmin smartwatch with the MapRunG ConnectIQ app, you can download the course onto your watch so you do not need to carry your phone with you (the GPS accuracy is often better too).
When you get to the event location, familiarise yourself with where the start is, but remain some distance from it (so as not to trigger the start before you are ready). Using the MapRunF or MapRun6 app on your phone, select Events Near Me and pick the course you wish to do (if you do not have any data connection on your phone, you can download the course before you travel. When you have found an event in MapRun.uk, the course name(s) and where they can be found within the MapRunF/MapRun6 app are displayed).
Once the course is downloaded onto your phone, you can click Go to start. The GPS status is shown at the bottom of the MapRunF/MapRun6 screen, wait for it to go green so that a GPS lock has been acquired. If you are using MapRunG on your Garmin watch, the Go to start button will be replaced by Send Event to my Garmin Watch, so click this. You can then select MapRunG from IQ Apps on your watch and after a short time, the course will be tranferred to your watch. The GPS lock status is shown at the bottom of the watch face; wait for it to say GPS 4 then press the Action button to confirm you want to start.
When you are ready, approach the start location. The start on the map is shown with a triangle. When the phone/watch beeps, it is time to start running. Remember whether you are running a line, scatter or score course. If it is a line course, make sure you visit all the controls in order. If it is a score course, keep an eye on the time. For fuller details, read the event page - this is particularly important on some score courses where controls score different number of points. When you reach a control, the phone/watch will beep and/or buzz. If it does not, and you know you are in right place, you should slow down and walk around the area to allow the GPS to lock on. When you have finished, navigate your way to the finish. This is usually in the same place as the start and will be shown as a double-circle. If the finish is not marked, assume the start is also the finish. Do not go near the finish in the middle of your course.
For fuller details, please see the main MapRun website.
What is MapRun.uk?
MapRun.uk is a portal to help you to easily find maps and information about MapRun events near you. The main MapRun website and the smart device apps do not have the maps, nor do they have specific details on the events. Finding a map and details of a course usually requires you to find and navigate through the website of the orienteering club that created it, which may not be obvious. This also means that each club is having to maintain their own MapRun webpages which is a duplication of effort and leads to each site presenting information in a different way. MapRun.uk gives a consistent, easy-to-use and searchable interface to all events in the UK. Clubs can use it alongside or in place of their own resources. All events for your club can be easily selected by going to http://CLUBNAME.maprun.uk/ (for example, http://waoc.maprun.uk/ for WAOC's events).
MapRun.uk can group multiple courses in a single event. MapRun itself just lists the courses by name, so to tell users two courses were related (e.g. a short and long course) they would need to have similar names. MapRun.uk groups courses that have a common start location (within 100m) into a single event. This means they can share details on how to get there, parking, etc.
Why does it say "No map yet?"
MapRun.uk gets all the course data from the main MapRun servers, but as mentioned above, this does not include any maps (except for the low-resolutions ones used when displaying results). Therefore, it is dependent upon the map file location being specified for each course and this is manual process. If the map is already on a club website, MapRun.uk can link to that. Alternatively, maps can be uploaded directly to MapRun.uk. Linking a map to a course can be done by a MapRun.uk global or club administrator.
Please get in touch if you want to become a club administrator or ask for maps to be linked.
Why isn't my club listed?
MapRun organises events into folders which are roughly based on counties and MapRun club administrators are given access to one or more county folders. However, orienteering clubs tend to straddle or share counties which leads to anomalies where events are created in the wrong county or where multiple clubs could overwrite each others' data. Ideally, MapRun.uk administrators would exactly match MapRun administrators so that a club administrator could create an event in MapRun and then upload the map to MapRun.uk. At the moment, this is not in place, so only the obvious club to MapRun folder mappings have been defined.
Please get in touch if you want to become a club administrator or discuss this.
How often is the list of events updated?
It is usually updated nationally about once a week, but a club administrator can update their own events whenever they wish.