Fancy some free orienteering to do at your leisure, whilst orienteering events are still suspended?
MapRunF is an app which allows you to use your smartphone to enjoy orienteering without needing to set up physical control points on the ground. Using MapRunF, you can run an orienteering course using either the map on your phone screen or a paper version; the only difference from a “traditional” course is that there are no physical markers on the ground. Instead, the phone tracks your location as you run and vibrates or buzzes to confirm when you’ve reached each control point on the course.
This event is around the beautiful Kings Wood in High Wycombe, and there are two courses to enjoy. If you enjoy our Saturday Series events, these are ideal:
Orange – straight line distance 2.8km
Green – straight line distance 3.8km
The Orange is suitable for those who are fairly new to the sport or have done Yellow or Orange courses at our normal events. The Green course is quite challenging and suitable for those with some experience.
The start and finish are on the grass verge adjacent to the Dolphin pub and restaurant, Totteridge Road High Wycombe, HP13 7PZ. Please don’t park in the pub car park unless you intend to patronise them after your run. There is parking in nearby streets.
The controls are old permanent orienteering course markers. A few have disappeared – these have the symbol of a man in the final column on the control descriptions. Note that the GPS may struggle to follow you when the trees are in full leaf, so you may have to hesitate at some markers, or even run around in a short circle to pick up the ‘punch’. And note that control number 7 (second control on Green course) is at the junction of a very indistinct path.
In the MapRun app, you will find the course in Select Event > UK > Thames Valley > Kings Wood (High Wycombe)
You can print a paper map, if you’d like one, here: https://tvoc.org.uk/tvoc-maprun-events/
Here’s a very quick guide of MapRun, with a more detailed explanation below.
- Download the free MapRunF App from the Google Play or Apple Store – this works by GPS to record your progress around the course.
- Choose the event you wish to go to – there are several courses at each event.
- Print a paper map from the event page if you want one.
- Head to the event whenever suits you.
- Start your course and the App will bleep at the Start and then at each control point as you visit them.
- Upload your results to compare to others!
How do I get the App?
Download the MapRunF app for free on Google Play or the App Store to your GPS-enabled smartphone. The MapRun icon looks like a green M (choose MapRunF rather than MapRun (with no F), as it’s newer.
How does it work?
From the App, you will be able to see the map and course by clicking “Go To Start”. You can head off to the event location whenever suits you and run your chosen course.
The App homepage has several items:
Use this menu to provide your details.
To find the TVOC MapRun courses, open up the MapRunF app on your phone, click “Select Event” and then scroll down to “UK”. Click, and then scroll to the Thames Valley folder. Click on the event you want to download to your phone. To actually see the map and the course on your phone, you’ll need to press “Go to Start”. You can do this any time before your run.
Whilst you can use MapRun just on your phone, you may want to use a printed map with control descriptions for navigation, just as we usually do in orienteering, and carry the phone running the app somewhere on your person. It doesn’t need to be visible. We’ve provided PDF maps of all our MapRun courses on our website, for you to print: https://tvoc.org.uk/tvoc-maprun-events/.
Fully charge your phone before you head off to the event location (although in our experience the App actually uses very little battery power).
Running a course:
To run a course, you need your phone with the course downloaded onto it as described above.
Tip: You need to make sure the app stays on even if your phone goes to sleep. In your general app settings on your phone, you will need to allow MapRunF to use “Location Access for This App - Allow all the time”, and not “Allow only while using the app”, as it will switch off when your screen goes off otherwise! You might want to disable auto-lock on your phone for the duration of your run.
On iOS, Settings > Display and Brightness > Auto-Lock > Never
On Android, Settings > Lock screen and security > Screen lock type > None.
Press “Go to Start” and your time will begin as soon as you are at (or sufficiently near) the start location (the red triangle on the map). Bear this in mind for events where the car park is near the start – you might have inadvertently punched the start while putting on your shoes. Don’t worry if you did: simply end your run (press the “Home” icon in the top left, then “Confirm Exit”) and start again when you are ready.
When you are ready, simply run the course as you would a normal orienteering event – your phone will beep or buzz as you reach each control. You can store your phone on your person (a waist or arm holder is ideal) and use your paper map to visit each control on your course. You can use the phone instead of a paper map if you wish, but obviously the screen will be smaller than a map!
If you have chosen a score course (visiting as many controls as you can in a specified time, as in Street-O) an additional watch to keep track of time may be helpful.
Controls will NOT be marked with orange and white flags as they are at regular events! Your phone will beep or buzz when you get sufficiently near the location on the map. However, you usually won’t have to get quite as near as you would for our normal electronic timing dibbers: within 5 or 10 metres should suffice, but this varies.
When you reach the Finish and that bleeps, you will be prompted to load your results to the event database. You can also load the details to your Strava account, if you have one.
Remember that at a typical orienteering event we provide First Aid and someone will come to look for you if you don’t show up at the Finish. That does not apply to MapRun! If you are genuinely by yourself in the woods, it would be a very good idea to let someone know where you have gone and when you may be expected back, especially so in poor weather or once summer starts to recede. Of course, you will have a phone with you for emergencies – but remember that mobile coverage in some of our forests is non-existent.
NOTE that you take part in any MapRun events as an individual activity and not a club activity, and therefore will not be covered by British Orienteering’s public liability insurance.