Northern Navigators Orienteering Club



Invite you to a Virtual Orienteering Course at

Houghall Woods, Durham



This is to be a 'virtual' MapRunF event - see details below, available till further notice


Travel :The area is located on the south east side of the City of Durham. As this is a virtual event you can do at any time there will be no 'O' signs.
Parking :As described below under 'Start / finish', the course is set up in the MapRun app so you can start and finish at any control. This is designed for maximum convenience, for example if you are running straight from home you might start and finish at the closest control. However, if you are driving then the easiest approach is to use the marked start and finish which are at the footpath entrance to the woods approximately 350m North West of the Maiden Castle sport centre, grid ref NZ281415, post code of the sports centre DH1 3SE. There is parking at the sports centre.
Format :

The event uses the MapRun mobile phone application. Most controls are on the Permanent Orienteering Course with the following exceptions:

    - the POC post at 10 is missing

    - 9 and 17 are not on the POC

    - some POC posts have different numbers to those on the MapRun course

    - some other controls on the POC have been omitted as they are either unsuitable, missing or both!

You can either use the recently released MapRun6 version of the app (free download from iTunes app store for iOS devices or Google Play Store for Android devices), or the older MapRunF version of the app. You can also optionally pair with the MapRunG app on compatible Garmin watches (available from Garmin Connect IQ) to avoid needing to carry a smartphone. If you want to "start anywhere" as described below you need the MapRun6 app, or version V4.8.8+ of the MapRunF app.


The advantage of this activity is that it follows the rules with regard to social distancing and you can do it at your convenience at any time. You simply need to download the MapRunF app onto your smart phone, find the event, print the map (you can use the map on your phone but may find this limiting) and go to the start. As you run around the area, your phone will ping when you arrive at a control.

Follow this link for a more comprehensive explanation of the procedure from British Orienteering.

Course :

It is a 60 minute score event with 20 controls. It will be available until further notice. The course can be found in the UK/County Durham/Durham folder of the MapRun app on your mobile device. Visit as many controls as you can, in any order, in the given time limit. All controls are worth 20 points with a 10 point penalty per minute or part of overtime. The winner will be the person to get the most controls in the shortest time. The shortest route to get all the controls is just over 10km, but you can do as much or as little as you like!

Fees :There are no fees for this event.
Start / finish :

You have a choice. The first option is to start at the start triangle marked on the map, which is the footpath entrance to the woods near Maiden Castle sports centre. Then proceed to collect as many controls as you can in the hour, and return to finish at the same point.

The second option is to pick any control marked on the map as your start point. In that case the start triangle marked on the map should be treated as an extra regular control point to be visited (and if using the app on your phone it will be displayed as such - control 22 - once you have started). Start at your chosen start control, collect as many controls as you can in the hour, including the start triangle control if you wish, and return to finish at the same control you started at.

As you approach the start (whether that be the marked start triangle, or another start control of your choosing) your phone should 'ping', which indicates that you have started. The finish is back wherever you started.

Terrain :Woodland footpaths or short sections off the path into the woods.
Map :

Houghall Woods - Scale 1:7,500, 5m contours, regular ISOM orienteering map.

The map with course can be downloaded and printed from here or viewed within the app.

Control desc :Control descriptions will be in text format and will be on the front of the map.
Facilities :There are toilets in Maiden Castle sports centre, although it may be shut during lockdown. You are advised to go before you arrive!
Dogs :Dogs will be allowed but under close control - please clean up after your dog especially in the parking area.
Results :After you've finished the course your phone uploads your time and trail, so you can see how you've done relative to other people, either within the app or at the MapRun console. You can also see which routes other people have taken between checkpoints, so you can learn which sorts of routes work best and improve your performance on your next attempt.
Officials :Organiser/Planner - Duncan Archer (CLOK), email