Training Courses and MapRun

 

A set of courses is being developed around Edinburgh for local orienteers to use for their own training.  These are being made available via the SOA webpage on Permanent Orienteering Courses and Smartphone Orienteering as they are created.  Courses are listed alphabetically, and there is a searchable map.

INT courses include ones at Craigmillar Castle Park and Dunsapie Loch / Whinny Hill - see Courses section below

These courses are ONLY for individual training use and are NOT related to any club events.  Usage is at your own risk; BOF insurance does not apply. 

The courses have been made available in MapRunF - a mobile phone app that allows you to see the course on screen and register the controls without needing a dibber.  It can enhance your run for training by tracking your run and alerting you with a beep when you have reached controls (though bear in mind that the technology is still in development, and as it is based on GPS, isn’t nearly as accurate as SI).  

An interesting development is that it seems that it’s possible to upload GPS tracks to MaprunF, post-run via the website– which would mean that you don’t necessarily need to take a smartphone out to feed results in and so have potential for a bit of competition on times and routes outwith actual events whilst these are still restricted.  To do a MaprunF course without a smartphone, run your chosen one with a paper map downloaded from the SOA page and a GPS watch.  Then go to the ‘results’ page on the MapRun website, select the course and upload your GPS file.  It should appear in a list with other runners, and it seems that MaprunF can determine whether or not you reached the controls.  This is still very much in test.

Whilst map georeferencing is improving for better views within the app, for navigational accuracy and for safety, taking a paper copy is recommended, particularly if you are out in terrain.

There are now some very comprehensive instructions on using the MaprunF app on the SOA website.

Suggestions and improvements would be very welcome: it’d be really helpful if you could fill out this short form after you’ve run a course to provide feedback which will help further development of training course provision and GPS orienteering.

For queries, feedback and suggestions, contact Katherine (katherineATtusks.org.uk).

Courses

The courses listed here were created by Interlopers.  Click on the course to go to the SOA page with further details and a link to download the PDF.  You can find details of all MapRunF courses in Scotland here.

Course Distance Info
Craigmillar Castle Orange #1 3.1km Mixture of forest and open parkland
Craigmillar Castle Orange #2 2.8km Mixture of forest and open parkland
Craigmillar Castle Yellow #1 1.6km Mixture of forest and open parkland
Craigmillar Castle Yellow #2 1.8km Mixture of forest and open parkland
Dunsapie Loch Long 3.3km Open hillside
Dunsapie Loch Short 1.8km Open hillside

 

 

Important Information and User Tips

 

If the underlying map isn't perfectly geo-referenced (as may be the case particularly for areas with older map bases), it won't look quite right on your phone in MaprunF, so take a paper copy.  This is sensible for safety in any case; you may lose your phone or it may run out of charge. 

Sometimes downloading suffers some glitches.  You should see the course downloading, and be able to 'go to start' (if you're not actually ready to run, just hit then home button').  'If your screen then goes black, jut shut the app or maybe your phone, then restart and it should be there.  If you get a list of log details, just hit the 'home' button in the top left of the screen.

Make sure your phone has plenty of charge, to avoid disappointment with it dying half-way round your course!  Avoid using low-power modes in areas with tree cover.  If you are not using it for navigation, you should be able to carry your phone in a holder or pocket, and let it go to sleep - so long as it has registered the start, it should continue to track (you may get a buzz rather than a beep, depending on your settings).  This nay vary by phone type though.  Using a GPS watch gives you back up and you can then upload your track after your run via the website (see above).

Your phone should beep or buzz when you pass each control.  Sometimes controls may not register at all: this could be due to a range of factors (phone, weather, satellite position etc etc - and of course the potential for human error in setting up the course).  Just run as you would normally and enjoy yourself!

Given its dependence on satellite signals, MaprunF isn't very precise so can beep within 5m or so anyway.    You can change the settings within the MaprunF App and so adjust tolerance (i.e., how close you need to be).  The default seems to be 15m; probably worth leaving it as this given all the other factors that can effect controls registering. It's also possible to inadvertently pick up other controls out of order if you pass close to them so just be aware of that risk.  However, so long as you still complete the course with all the controls in the right order, it should still register as 'okay'.

The 'Start anywhere' function might be useful if you want to access the course area at a different point at some distance to the start (particularly to avoid extra travel during lockdown, or perhaps to avoid WOC embargoed areas).  Go to settings in the MaprunF app and scroll down to 'event allows runners to start at any control' (nb some constraints may be imposed by the course organiser, e.g., if it forms part of a competition).