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Driving Directions from w3w?

Availability: Feb 21, 2021 - June 1, 2022

If you weren't able to come to SOAR's Alafia River State Park event on 2/20, or did and would like to try your hand running a different course than the one you ran that day, we have a new ROYO opportunity for you!  Gord has given me permission to post the 6 courses from this event as MapRun ROYOs, which you can enjoy anytime between now and June 1.

MapRun is a new kind of ROYO we are experimenting with which uses GPS position-based control punching.  Start, Finish, and all controls are precisely georeferenced, and you punch your way through the course simply by approaching to within a few meters of each point as measured by smartphone GPS.  This is a little bit different than the punching methods we're used to, but it has the advantage that it works even if a control marker goes missing.  You simply walk/run around the course and your phone punches you in at each point automatically with an audible beep.

Special Driving Directions

Note that this Alafia River State Park event is based at the equestrian staging area at the northwest corner of the park on CR 39, NOT at the main recreation area accessed through the park main entrance gate (which is farther south on CR 39).  Use the what3words address above to get turn-by-turn directions to the correct location.


The smartphone app to use for this system is called MapRun.  Version 6 of this app has recently been released, and that is what we'll be using. Be careful when you go to install the app on your phone, because there are multiple versions of this app available for different purposes. You want MapRun6, with a numeral "6" in the bottom right corner of the logo:
You can find it on iTunes or the Google Play store. 

As you're installing the app, it will ask you for permission to use location services (i.e., the phone's GPS location).  This is obviously essential for its function so you must grant it.  It's important that you allow access "all the time" rather than just "only when using the app", otherwise it may lose your GPS fix when the screen goes to sleep during your run.

When you get the app installed, open it and tap the "Name" button on the home screen and fill in your information.  This will be used for results posting on any courses you run with the app.

To use the app to run a course, open it and tap the "Select Event" button, then drill down through
  • USA
  • Florida
  • Central Florida
  • AlafiaRiverSP
and you'll see the list of the 6 available courses there.
Once you've picked the course you want, you will be returned to the home screen with that event showing as the selected event.  You can do all of this before you go to the venue, and probably should since connecting to a course and getting the map for it on your phone requires internet connectivity, which may be spotty at certain venues.

You can also get to the course you want on site at the venue using the "Events Near Me" button, which should get you to the same list of 6 available courses once you are physically close enough to them.  This feature requires internet connectivity onsite, however.

When you are on site and ready to do your course, tap the "Go to Start" button.
You will then see a picture of the map on your phone screen with a red dot showing your live GPS position on it.  This is simply an aid to help you find the start position, which as usual shows as a red triangle on the map.

When you get within a few meters of the Start, the app will beep to let you know you're there, and at that point your official clock is running, and the live position indicator on the phone will disappear.  Stow the phone in a runner's armband and forget it as you do your course using the paper map and compass for navigation as usual. At each control position, the phone will issue a loud beep to indicate a successful punch, and you're off to the next one.  If you pull out your phone and look at it, you'll see the control circles changing from red to green with each successful punch.  When you have finished the course, move to the Finish position - the double circle on the map.  When you get there, the app will beep one last time, stop your official clock, and then display your results, along with a GPS log track of your run:
Tapping the "burger stack" menu icon at the top right will pull up a menu that allows you to see the "details" (i.e., splits times) of your course:
You can also tap "All Results" to see how you did compared to others who have done this course before you.

Video of me auto-punching a control at LBE East.

Video demo of using MapRun in a "casual" park environment, including using the phone for the map.

Note that at Alafia River, THERE ARE NO PHYSICAL MARKERS IN THE FIELD AT ALL AT THE CONTROL POSITIONS!  No flags, no ribbons, no QR code tags.  This is position-based ROYO ONLY. The beep from your phone indicating arrival at a control is your cue that you are in the right location, and this takes the place of seeing the physical ribbon or other marker.  If you have only ever done live events which have flags, this will make these courses a little more of a challenge, as you won't have the relatively large beacon of a flag to guide you into the exact control position.  Use the clues marked on your map and move to the feature (e.g., trail junction, distinct tree, depression, etc.) listed for each control point - that is where you should get your punch.

Also, remember that your phone's position depends on the readings from its GPS chip.  You want your phone to have a decent view of the sky for it to get an accurate positional fix from the satellites.  That's why we recommend using a runner's armband to hold the phone - it keeps it high and away from your body core, which can block the GPS signals.  I successfully used MapRun6 with my phone in my pocket to do the Green course at this location, but a pocket or backpack isn't ideal. If you are sure you're in the right location and your phone doesn't punch the control, take it out of your pocket or backpack and hold it out for a few seconds to see if it will get a better fix.



  • YELLOW (Male / Female) - For novices and casual family hikes. 2.6 km Female / 3.3 km Male straight-line. Can be done mostly on trails.  Map is 1:10,000 scale, with verbose control descriptions.
  • ORANGE (Male / Female) - For intermediate to advanced orienteers.  4.1 km Female / 4.5 km Male straight-line.   Most controls are off trail, and you may find yourself pushing through some vegetation to get to them.  Map is 1:10,000 scale, with symbolic control descriptions.
  • GREEN (Male / Female) - For experienced orienteers.  Zig-zagging course 4.8 km Female / 5.3 km Male straight-line. Many controls are off trail.  Map is 1:10,000 scale, with symbolic control descriptions.

Note that the course lengths mentioned above are measured straight-line from point to point to point.  Your actual route on the ground will often be on more winding trails or diverted around obstacles like ponds or dense tickets, so your actual distance traveled will often be 25-50% longer than the stated course length.

Please note that the trailhead for all these courses is an equestrian staging area.  That means horses and riders may be present, and this requires special precautions from us.  Running toward or past a horse can spook it, leading to highly unfortunate events (or at the very least, angry riders who will complain to park officials).  If you encounter horses, STOP RUNNING, yield right-of-way, and be courteous.  Play nice in the sandbox.

As usual, there is a 3 hour time limit on all courses.  If you take more than 3 hours on any course, RETIRE!  Fatigue and dehydration can sneak up on you, particularly on the longer courses. Carry a CHARGED cell phone for safety.

The Safety Bearing for all courses will be WEST to the paved road CR 39.

Printing your map(s):

By printing the map for any of these courses you are agreeing to the following Waiver of Liability:

As a condition for participating in this orienteering event, you hereby release Florida Orienteering (also known as FLO), Suncoast Orienteering (SOAR) and all of their officers and members and others who have planned or participated in this event from liability for any personal injury or property damage that may occur to you or any member of your group as a result of your participation at this event whether caused by negligence or otherwise, and you hereby indemnify Florida Orienteering (FLO), Suncoast Orienteering (SOAR) their officers and any organizations or authorities sponsoring the event from any liability for injury or damage or expense caused by yourself or other members of your group.

To display the map of your chosen course, click on the appropriate link in the list of courses below, then use your browser to download or print it.  If your print menu offers the choice, make sure the "Actual Size" option is selected.



A suggested donation of $7 for FLO members, or $9 for non members, may be made through Zelle.  In order to use Zelle you will need to register for Zelle through your bank's website. Alternatively go to for guided instructions.
Once you have registered for Zelle, through your bank, you can send a donation to and then select the 'Florida Orienteering' account.

Map to Alafia River State Park Equestrian Staging Area
Aerial view of Alafia River State Park
Note that the Equestrian Area is NOT at the main park entrance!
Equestrian Staging area with START/FINISH locations
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