Today was a popular day for taking part in the first event of the MapRun League but there's still plenty of time to score points in the league (Sunday is the last day to count). Based on a few conversations taking place via email and in the car park at Abbotswood, here are some tips to get the most out of your MapRun experience:
- There are two types of PDF map to choose from: Stick and Pseud-O. The latter contains more detail and, in particular for the Abbotswood Nature Reserve, it marks the fences that the Stick format does not. The controls can be harder to see on the Pseud-O map though, particularly if you don't have a good quality printer so it's a good idea to check you've located all 30 on the map before you start. (Note that planning your route before you start is considered cheating though!) Note that the scale of both is 1:5,000.
- Make sure you read the details on the event format. There are 10, 20, or 30 points per control: 10 points for controls numbered 1 - 10, 20 points for 11 to 20, and 30 points for 21 to 30. There is a penalty of 10 points per minute over 45 minutes or part thereof.
- Make sure you have at least MapRunF or, ideally, the latest version: MapRun6. Do not use the original MapRun app as it does not understand the score format.
- In the MapRun app, when you choose Select Event, the title on the event page indicates the path that you need to navigate. So, for the Abbotswood league event, you need to select UK, then Southampton, and then League before finally selecting 01 - Abbotswood Score. Do not get sidetracked into the Hampshire folder and do not select the Abbotswood event from 2020 or the Abbotwood White course that are in the Southampton folder.
- When you select Go to Start, there is a bar that appears at the bottom of the screen that indicates the status of your GPS. This should be green before you start. If it remains red, ensure that you have granted the application access to your phone's GPS. You should also see a little red dot indicating your current location, this will draw a red line until you reach the start at which point it will disappear and the timer will start automatically.
- To avoid a frustrating wait at controls, try to ensure that your GPS remains on whilst running. Keeping the phone on and the app in the foreground is the easiest way to achieve this. (I can recommend Decathlon's phone holders as a good way of carrying your phone in your hand without risking dropping it.) If you do put your phone away, you may need to change your phone settings to ensure that it keeps the GPS active. This tends to be very phone-specific but the MapRun website has some suggestions.
- Try putting your phone in airplane mode so that you don't mistake the arrival of the latest WhatsApp message for punching at a control!
- If you have a Garmin watch capable of running apps, check out MapRunG and leave all those phone-related worries behind!
- Lastly, if all fails, if you run around and can record a GPS track on your watch or phone, you can upload it here afterward with the satisfaction that it was just superior map-reading that meant you knew you were in the correct place at each control!
Any other issues, just drop webmaster [at] socweb.org (me) an email.