Author Topic: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running  (Read 3633 times)

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2019, 05:22:35 pm »
Probably plenty of runners with a map and compass in their bumbag just to pass the kit check, but no idea how to use them. Their navigation is just following everyone else.

Though I have done a run where I had to demonstrate how to use a compass halfway through.

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2019, 05:32:54 pm »
The WFRA complete ban is in contrast to the (English) FRA revised policy where individual organisers can decide to allow GPS or not. And on those events which proscribe the use of GPS, a runner is at liberty to carry one. But if used, perhaps in an emergency or for any reason, that runner is required to declare themselves non-competitive.
I wonder how any of that is policed.

Quote
...Use of GPS devices mean riders seem (to me) to be far less aware of where they are, where they're going and how far it is...
I recall an event which turned at West Bay (on the English Channel, for those unfamiliar), some years before GPS was much available.  One rider shaded his eyes, peered out to sea, and asked if we shouldn't be able to see Wales from here.

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2019, 07:10:05 pm »
Surely the idea of Audax is that within the time limits people can finish a course as they please  ? After all the only person we are competing against are ourselves ?

Yes, but with recognition for particular forms of masochism, such as barrows, downwrongs and not bringing enough gears.  Doesn't seem unreasonable to add analogue navigation to that list if there's enthusiasm for such a thing.

People can do that themselves if they want to ?

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2019, 07:43:31 pm »
I think it's perfectly reasonable to have map reading and GPS skills competitions, such as orienteering and geocaching.  Whether you consider either of those to be core components of running up hills or riding a bike a long way is entirely subjective.  It seems that the WFRA have decided that map reading is.
Indeed.

I don't for one second think that AUK will ban GPS in my lifetime. For me, this makes discussion of the WFRA ban fun, as we can have a friendly chat without any hand-wringing over ruining Audax, etc :P

It is interesting that WFRA have done it - fell running is (perhaps) the closest running niche in ethos to Audax, so I'm intrigued that a successful, long-running sport has chosen to go significantly backwards in technology terms.

I also think we might find space in the AUK world for a few more "orienteering"-style events. The Transcon has shown how popular a cycling event can be where competitors choose widely varying routes between checkpoints, with no single route even suggested by the hosts.

It's a Broad Church said the randonneur for the nth time that day ...
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2019, 08:10:13 pm »
I had a GPS (with OS maps on it) fail on Exmoor in moderately unpleasant weather this summer. I was glad I had an actual map as backup, though had to pick my refolding moments in lulls.

The one fell running race I’ve done certainly came from an Orienteering rather than an exactly-x-km start point. Part of the skill was picking the best route (which depended on ones enthusiasm for hills, marsh or distance. That’s hard to do on a small screen.

There’s also a hillwalking thing of having the skills and gear appropriate for when it goes wrong. As noted above, inability to read a map (on screen or paper) is a fair first approximation for basic competence in the mountains. This feels closer to the gap between Audax (and touring) and many other organised rides - not the navigation so much as the expectation that you’ll have the skills to work it out when you’re on your own on an unfamiliar lane.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2019, 08:21:52 pm »
It is interesting that WFRA have done it - fell running is (perhaps) the closest running niche in ethos to Audax,
Going OT here, but <a famous Bristolian randonneur> (yes, famous randonneur is an oxymoron – let's say notorious instead  ;D) recently started running with Town and Country Harriers. Not fell running (well, we don't have fells round here!) but in fields and woods and stuff. He announced they are "so like ACB it's spooky" even to the extent that "all their runs either start or end at the pub!" (Audax is a broad church and not all audaxers go to pubs, etc etc).
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2019, 08:40:10 am »

I also think we might find space in the AUK world for a few more "orienteering"-style events. The Transcon has shown how popular a cycling event can be where competitors choose widely varying routes between checkpoints, with no single route even suggested by the hosts.

Nothing would please me more.

However, I'd fear that you'd get some people being too trusting of google's routing algorithms and end up in a pickle - be that a raging dual carriageway or an overgrown rup.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2019, 09:05:05 am »

I also think we might find space in the AUK world for a few more "orienteering"-style events. The Transcon has shown how popular a cycling event can be where competitors choose widely varying routes between checkpoints, with no single route even suggested by the hosts.

Nothing would please me more.

However, I'd fear that you'd get some people being too trusting of google's routing algorithms and end up in a pickle - be that a raging dual carriageway or an overgrown rup.
That exact thing has happened many times to TCR riders!

(If you get lost, get unlost
, as the man said.)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2019, 10:28:01 am »
Seems the WFRA have a habit of being deliberately awkward, and making up rules for the sake of it. I'm sure any proposed GPS ban for hill running in England / Scotland would be quickly rejected.

Perhaps it will lead to more race organisers not affiliating their races with the WFRA. Already are quite a few non-affiliated events.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2019, 11:38:23 am »

This is an interesting idea, but I can see some safety issues it creates.

I have a Garmin Inreach Explorer+ device. It has full GPS functionality, but I carry it primarily as a safety device. It's an Irridium device that transmits my position every 10 mins, so people can track me, and if I hit the magic button and hold it for 10 seconds, someone will come rescue me. The safety benefits of this are obvious. Thing is, under the GPS ban, I wouldn't be allowed to carry such a device.

Maybe there needs to be some sort of mechanism where by it's in a sealed tamper evident pouch, that doesn't allow the device to be used as a GPS, without breaking the seal, making it obvious that it's been used...

As for the AUK Orienteering style event, I've pondered this. I really like the TCR style with "these bits are mandatory, work the rest out yourself". I've been trying to work out if it would work for an Audax. The Calendar events I've done in .NL and .BE are I believe mandatory route events, and being GPS based they do tend to wiggle around all over the place down beautiful country lanes. But on the .BE event before xmas, I had to divert from the route for the final 50km, as the back roads were just ice. I cycled down main roads to get back to the finish. The ride organiser seemed entirely fine with this given the conditions, the bruises, and the obvious damage to the bike from crashing on the ice.

With the Dutch events, everyone uses a GPS, to the point that now the route sheet is just a list of villages and distances. On Zwolle Boekelo Zwolle I was surprised to get a proper route sheet, I commented on this to Ivo, who pointed out this was a very old route, hence the older style sheet.

Do any AUK events offer a GPX, but no route sheet?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2019, 12:08:36 pm »

This is an interesting idea, but I can see some safety issues it creates.

I have a Garmin Inreach Explorer+ device. It has full GPS functionality, but I carry it primarily as a safety device. It's an Irridium device that transmits my position every 10 mins, so people can track me, and if I hit the magic button and hold it for 10 seconds, someone will come rescue me. The safety benefits of this are obvious. Thing is, under the GPS ban, I wouldn't be allowed to carry such a device.
Incorrect - RTFM! - sorry, I mean read the article!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2019, 12:12:35 pm »

This is an interesting idea, but I can see some safety issues it creates.

I have a Garmin Inreach Explorer+ device. It has full GPS functionality, but I carry it primarily as a safety device. It's an Irridium device that transmits my position every 10 mins, so people can track me, and if I hit the magic button and hold it for 10 seconds, someone will come rescue me. The safety benefits of this are obvious. Thing is, under the GPS ban, I wouldn't be allowed to carry such a device.
Incorrect - RTFM! - sorry, I mean read the article!


"Runners can record their route on a GPS watch, but cannot follow a pre-set route, use a device showing a map or pre-load checkpoints on their device."

My device shows a map. Thus not allowed?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2019, 12:17:53 pm »
"
Runners can use GPS to navigate themselves to safety in an emergency, but must declare themselves a "non-competitive participant" at the finish.
"
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2019, 12:20:02 pm »
My reading is you can carry such a device as long as you don’t use it, but who knows if that’s the intention.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2019, 12:21:43 pm »
My reading is you can carry such a device as long as you don’t use it, but who knows if that’s the intention.

How do you judge that? how do you ensure it's not used except in an emergency?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2019, 12:26:54 pm »
The same way you ensure no one jumps on a train for part of an audax.

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2019, 12:37:10 pm »
Personally, when I gave up on the last GPS running watch I switched to using my phone instead because my new phone was waterproof and had plenty of battery life for the job.  Apps are much more flexible than the fixed watch firmware - I have no regrets about switching.  I don't normally use the phone to navigate on a run, just call out the kilometre markers.  But I do navigate on it sometimes. 

I think that their rules allow this use, provided I don't display the map on my phone at any point.  Of course, I'm not trying to compete in Wales, so I'm kind of irrelevant.  It just seems a bit strange they haven't been really explicit about whether you can use a phone capable of displaying a map, but not actually do so at any point.  In the absence of a specific ban on smartphones, you have to assume that is allowed.

My normal running app shows a live map with no option to turn that off, but I don't look at it - I only use the audio prompts and logging.  That is clearly outside the rules, but no reason I couldn't find an app without it.

I have some sympathy for their financial argument, which seems to be that running is a simple sport and they don't want to hand a small competitive advantage to those with another hundred quid to spend on a fancy watch.  Audax is already a much more equipment-based sport, before you even start the argument about modern traffic and use of minor lanes.

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2019, 12:43:57 pm »
It just seems a bit strange they haven't been really explicit about whether you can use a phone capable of displaying a map, but not actually do so at any point.

Have you got a link to where this is discussed in more detail, or are you basing this solely on the contents of a BBC news article?
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2019, 12:53:13 pm »
I'm working from

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-YwMtlJyL8trA4g7v4E0rdFGbLsvv84i/view

Which says that:


Explanatory Note:
At WFRA registered races, you will be allowed to:
  • wear a watch/ carry a device with GPS functionality
  • record your route using such a device
  • have distance travelled displayed
  • use an altimeter
In an emergency: You are, of course, allowed to use a GPS device to navigate yourself to safety, but must declare yourself as a ‘non-competitive’ participant at the Finish.

You will not be allowed to:
  • follow a pre-loaded GPS (‘breadcrumb’) route
  • use a GPS device which displays a map
  • load checkpoints onto the GPS device.


Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2019, 12:55:05 pm »
So depends if you interpret "which displays" to mean in a generic sense this device displays maps, or narrow its meaning to "which at any point displays".

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2019, 12:56:49 pm »
Curious omission of whether you're allowed to use a GPS to tell you your coordinates...
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2019, 01:15:33 pm »
Very curious about how you go about using a GPS device in an emergency if you're not allowed to carry one  ???

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2019, 01:38:36 pm »
I'm working from

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-YwMtlJyL8trA4g7v4E0rdFGbLsvv84i/view

Thanks for the link.

Very curious about how you go about using a GPS device in an emergency if you're not allowed to carry one  ???

You are allowed to carry one:-

If it can't display a map you can have it turned on to record you run and show you time/distance/altitude as you run.

If it can display a map you can carry it but you can't use it during the race, i.e. it just sits in the bottom of your bag/pack. If you do use it to navigate home (i.e. in an emergency) then you are asked to DQ yourself.

The ideal way of not using a map capable GPS is to just carry it switched off.

That's my reading of it anyway.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2019, 02:01:26 pm »
When I'm following a line on a Garmin I am less aware of where I am than when I'm using a map.

Agreed.  Routesheets are even worse, in this respect.

In most cases, I've had to do an event two or three times to have any sense of where I was. Whether with route sheets only or, as in recent years, with GPSs. This is in spite of loving maps and spending time beforehand poring over the route (which is always short - the longest I've done is a 200). Personally I'm waiting for head-up map displays for bikes...

Re: GPS ban for Welsh Fell Running
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2019, 02:05:17 pm »

Very curious about how you go about using a GPS device in an emergency if you're not allowed to carry one  ???

You are allowed to carry one:-

If it can't display a map you can have it turned on to record you run and show you time/distance/altitude as you run.

If it can display a map you can carry it but you can't use it during the race, i.e. it just sits in the bottom of your bag/pack. If you do use it to navigate home (i.e. in an emergency) then you are asked to DQ yourself.

The ideal way of not using a map capable GPS is to just carry it switched off.

That's my reading of it anyway.

Note to self : read the post properly  :facepalm: