Virtual Orienteering CoursesMapRun Smartphone app

Last updated: Sat 23 Apr 2022

MapRun is an app which allows you to use your smartphone to enjoy orienteering without needing to set up physical control points on the ground. There are now MapRun courses set up all across Scotland which you can go and run right now, with more new ones being added all the time.

Using MapRun, you can run an orienteering course using either the map on your phone screen or a paper version; the only difference from a “traditional” course is that there are no physical markers on the ground. Instead, the phone tracks your location as you run and vibrates or buzzes to confirm when you’ve reached each control point on the course.

The MapRun website has a lot of information about MapRun, how to set it up on your phone. Some Garmin watches allow the APP to be installed as a widget.

There is a large and increasing number of these courses around the UK and the World!

MapRun can easily be used for training; due to the various limitations imposed by the app, the courses are easily set up in urban areas; forest areas are much more of a challenge. You will get a bleep or buzz to show you are at the correct location when you are running the course. This signal can vary in distance away from the control location (sometimes it is up to 15m away from the control); occasionally you get to the control location and never get a signal that you are there. This could be a device problem or a signal strength problem, life with technology!!

It is possible to upload your result for your course; We would recommend that you concentrate on the training aspect of using MapRun, studying your route - for example, did you consistently take the best route choice? How long did it take you to decide on your route? How often did you look at the map when executing your route - we often look at it too frequently, just to get some reassurance which we do not need.