• Sunday, 17 March 2024

Walliabup Skate Park, Bibra Lake

A lovely sunny morning greeted 35 riders for the first MTBO event of the season, a mixed urban/urban-bushland map based around Bibra Lake. The map had been extended up to South St, including Murdoch Uni, SJoG and a bit more suburbia, so that we weren’t using the exact same area again.

I wanted a course that couldn’t be completed in the two hour time limit, which meant I needed a large area and a lot of controls, and ended up with 73 controls and a completion distance of 40-45km. Using MapRun instead of SportIdent meant I didn’t have to actually put out 73 controls, thankfully.

The map extension was done using a combination of OpenStreetMap data as a base, and a lot of aerial photos and StreetView data. Overall this worked well, but a couple of closed gates were missed (some of which only appear on weekends, of course…) which affected route choices. At the end of the day there’s no substitute for fieldwork on the ground. The original map, now at least 8 years old, is also showing its age a bit.

MapRun mostly worked well. As with most mobile tech, the sheer variety of devices in the field made for some problems for some riders, but the ease of organising, and particularly packing up, the event makes for a compelling argument. Without SportIdent doing the timing, we didn’t need the computer and its paraphernalia. The biggest equipment we brought was the boxes of map boards - and we were packed and heading home within 30 minutes of the event finishing.

Big thanks to Paul Dowling for setting the event and updating the map. Thanks also go to Sue and Jack Dowling for their help with organising the event and getting everyone set up and riding on time, and corralling finishers as they sailed in. With some more regular practice I think we - both organisers and competitors - would iron out the wrinkles in MapRun, and it makes this type of event so much easier for the setters that it’s worth pursuing.

Results will be available on Eventor soon. 

Photo: At the pre-event briefing, by Sue Dowling.

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Acknowledgement of country

Noongar country logo 2023 150pxNgalak kaaditj nidja Noongar Boodjar. Koora-Yeyi-Kalyakool.

Orienteering WA acknowledges the Noongar people, the Traditional and continuing Custodians of the land on which we gather to enjoy our sport, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.