Training using MapRunF
Orienteering Training Courses Introducing MapRunF
In the first few months of 2020 the Club has been evaluating the use of “MapRunF” (a phone based app designed for orienteering) to enhance our regular Night Street Events and other urban events. We’re pleased to announce the launch of MapRunF for this year’s courses. While our regular events won’t be able to get under way until the Government announces further relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions (at the earliest Level-2), we are releasing some courses during autumn that you can use under Level-3 for training, and so you can try out the new software!
What is MapRunF?
“MapRunF” is a smartphone app that you load onto your phone.
How does it work?
MapRunF uses the GPS on your smartphone to track your location. When you get within a few meters of the control site, your phone beeps and vibrates to tell you that the app has registered the control. If it is a Rogaine, you are automatically allocated the control points. If it is an orienteering course, the app ensures competitors do the controls in the correct order (and allows for complexities such as pivot controls).
What are the benefits of MapRunF?
The app is growing in popularity because of the following benefits:
What’s the catch?
Like any technology, it is not perfect. Because GPS accuracy varies between phones and between locations, the competitor can sometimes be required to move around until the control is registered on the MapRunF app. As with any technology, a small proportion of competitors may have trouble with their phone or the MapRunF app, resulting in them getting an incomplete result. The number of problems is steadily reducing as phones and the MapRunF app become more reliable.
Opportunity to try it out
To give you an opportunity to get out for a run with a map in hand, while at the same time making sure we are not encouraging you to behave in a manner contrary to the Covid 19 restrictions, this year instead of our normal Autumn Night Street series we are releasing a series of MapRunF training courses. The courses will be published on the Club’s website.
Where and when?
There will be a number of courses available in different locations in Auckland so you can choose to run the course(s) close to you. Beside each location there will be a link to a course map that you can download and print out. You will need to install the MapRunF app on your phone (see below for details). The different courses will remain available for the foreseeable future and we will add more locations over time. Unlike our planned Autumn Night Series, which you could only run on a Tuesday night, the courses will be available for you to run anytime you choose.
What is the format?
There will be 20 control sites marked on the map. To make it a better challenge we suggest you do not study your map until you are about to start. Give yourself 5 minutes to decide which ones you will visit and plan your route. You can choose the number you select to do, depending on how long you wish to be out. As a training exercise it is important that you make this decision before you start. We suggest that you plan to visit any 6, 10, 14 or 18. The setters of the courses have attempted to make different choices available for these numbers of controls and therefore make it a better challenge to you. To give you a feel of how many you should select to do, within about an hour you can visit 6 controls walking, 10 slow running, 14 running at a good pace and 18 going very fast! If you visit all 20 it reduces the challenge as you don’t have to select which controls to miss out.
How to load and use MapRunF
Load MapFunF from the App Store or Google Play.
It looks like this:
Run the app – It initially gives a page like this:
- Click on Name and enter your details
- Use Select Event (New Zealand, Auckland, Training) to find the event of interest OR use Events Near Me (a PDF copy of the map and directions to the start are given below)
- Use Go to Start to get things under way
- Allow a couple of minutes for the phone to accurately get your GPS location. This could be your planning time
When you are ready to start:
- Walk to where the start triangle is shown on the map, your phone will beep, timer will start, and you are underway
- You can use the map on your phone but most people find the paper map is easier to use
- When you get to a control your phone will beep (if you have the sound on). If you don’t hear the beep, you can also check the app and it tells you the last control number it recorded
- If it doesn’t beep straight away, move around a bit as the GPS signal can vary a little
- Important: Once you have left the start/finish area to do your course, do not pass back close to it until you are finishing, or the finish will register and the software will believe you have finished. And you can’t start it again!
When you have completed your course:
- Once you are within Wi-Fi access your course will be automatically uploaded by the MapRunF software
- Go to the results section, you will then be able to compare your time and route with the results of others that have also run it
If you don't have a smartphone or don't want to use the app but have a Garmin watch that will give you a gpx file of your travels, you can load this into the event. You do this by going to http://www.p.fne.com.au/#/gpsupload and using the gpx file. The website also needs first name, surname, gender, last 2 digits of year of birth - the results are categorised by age - and information on how the gpx file was created. There are two options: 1) the watch was started at the very beginning and at the finish or 2) the watch was started prior to going to the start and was left going as you ran through the finish. With this second option the software itself works out the time you were at the start and the finish. You have to tell it what option you used.