Report by Keith Willdig, Organiser and member, Leicestershire Orienteering Club
Please note: this event took place before the new lockdown measures came into force in England at 00.01 on Thursday 5 November 2020.
October 31st saw 60 orienteers brave extremely wet and windy conditions to run the inaugural event in Burbage on a brand new Mike Hampton map only completed a few weeks beforehand. The long and medium course gave runners the opportunity to use their SIAC for event timing while they could also carry their phone for MapRun results. Conditions on the day were very challenging for MapRun – the only thing worse would have been a blizzard. Altogether, nine controls did not register on MapRun although the runner did visit the SI control. All bar one of these was where runners reversed back out from a control with more failures proportionally for the faster runners. Had there not been a control flag, the runner would have searched in the circle and almost certainly registered the control. If this had been a MapRun only event, they would have been credited with the ‘dib’ anyway.
MapRun course timings were about 5 seconds quicker than SI timings for the faster runners – fully explained by the placing of the start and finish controls being in a slightly different position. There was virtually no difference in the offset between runners showing that results would have been the same in both systems. The course timing difference was up to 15 seconds for the slower runners. This was because they were travelling at a much slower speed over the extra distance. Again, there was little difference in the offset for similarly paced competitors. Therefore, had it been a full MapRun course with no SI timing the results would have been coherent.
In summary, trying the parallel timings systems was an interesting experiment which demonstrated that MapRun is an effective method of putting on events, particularly local ones. Added to this is the fact that very little volunteer input is needed on the day as events can be set-up in minutes by one person – something I would very much have appreciated in Saturday’s torrential storm.
British Orienteering full statement for national restrictions in England can be found here.
The latest Orienteering guidance for the whole of the UK can be found here.