Do I need anything apart from my phone?
Your phone may be all you need (& make sure it's at least 50% charged & not in battery-saving mode), but having a copy of the printed map may make route planning easier, particularly where the controls are fairly well spaced or when it's a very bright day & it's difficult to read the screen.
If using MapRunG you'll need to transfer the course from your phone & to download & print a copy of the map.
So - what do I actually do?
If you've looked at the map beforehand you'll have an idea of where you're going to start from, so you need to be near but not too close. Make sure your GPS location is on & press "Go to Start". The app will then load the map & show the pink control circles. You should also see your own location showing on the screen. When you're ready - as the timer will start as soon as the first control registers - go to the control spot. The phone will bleep & the control symbol will turn green, & you're away! After that it's just a matter of planning your route from control to control, running or walking, until you've visited all of them. If you're in the correct spot & you don't hear the bleep then check your phone & walk around a little - GPS accuracy does vary with the number of satellites in use, etc. Also - don't forget to go to the Finish, or the first control if you've used the Start Anywhere feature.
MapRunG works in a similar way - you load the app, load the course & follow the instructions to start. There's no map on the screen, but your Garmin will bleep/buzz each time you visit a control & the number will show. Time used & time remaining will also be given - useful for a score event!
What happens afterwards?
The app will stop the timer & show you your result - & you can upload your result to the MapRun website, but you'll probably want to wait until you've got WiFi. The app will also enable you to sync your run directly to Strava if you wish.
For MapRunG you upload your track to Garmin Connect as usual, then import it into MapRun6 or MapRunF to add it to the MapRun database. You'll need to have linked your MapRun & Garmin Connect accounts beforehand.
What if my results don't show properly - if the app thinks I've mispunched?
If your track shows that you've been in roughly the right place it's possible to get the control included: see the MapRun website for details. If you need help then contact Sarah Mansel, our Maprun co-ordinator, at email@example.com
Is there anything else to think about?
Well, yes, safety, both for yourself & for others in the area:
- Choose a time when the area won't be too busy & follow the official social distancing & hygiene guidance & the British Orienteering Code of Conduct at all times.
- Use only public roads, paths & open spaces
- Be aware of residents, walkers & cyclists
- Be aware of traffic in urban areas & take care at road crossings
- Anyone under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult in urban areas because of the traffic risk
- Follow instructions as to out-of-bounds areas/paths and compulsory road/rail crossings. The situation you face on the ground may differ from when the course was planned.
- You're responsible for your own safety, i.e. you take part at your own risk. British Orienteering insurance only covers organised events, not individuals taking part on these courses.
- Let someone know where you're going, particularly for the courses which visit more isolated/off-road locations. Consider using an app like what3words so you can give your precise location in case of accident.