National Mall Virtual MapRun

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November 26 - December 4
Friday - Saturday

Washington DC Mall

Registration is now open!

Quantico Orienteering Club is pleased to announce a GPS Orienteering Event from Monday 22 November through Saturday 04 December on the National Mall, Washington DC. This event will take place over two weeks to enable our participants to choose their date and time to run throughout the Thanksgiving holiday period.

There are 6 conventional courses to choose from (1 beginner, 3 short advanced, 1 medium advanced, and 1 long advanced) thanks to course setter Karla Hulett and supported with map updates from Gary Smith. Detailed course notes and updates are posted below. This distributed, GPS Orienteering event requires on-line pre-registration, which is now open (see below).

This event requires MapRun6 software, available from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

If you don’t like to carry your phone when you run, MapRun can also be used on sufficiently modern Garmin watches using MapRunG, downloaded from the Garmin Connect IQ store. Learn more about MapRunG from the developers’ site. If there’s time and interest, we may develop a very short, informal course to enable Garmin watch-only participants to test their watches prior to starting one of the full courses.

With the start and finish being at Federal Triangle Metro Station, the best bet is to use that form of transport. There is public parking at the Reagan Building for $17 weekends and holidays, and $35 on weekdays. Everyone in the car must have an ID to enter the parking garage.

Other points:

  • Properly worn masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in crowded outdoor spaces, in all National Park Service Buildings, and in all forms of enclosed public transportation.
  • Due to the urban and distributed nature of this event, water will not provided. Bring your own water.
  • The National Mall provides many public restrooms. See this page provided by the DC Department of Human Services.
  • There will be no on-site QOC presence during the event. Unlike other events, there is no safety plan to ensure all participants depart the site safely. We recommend all participants ensure someone knows their plans and provide some degree of overwatch to confirm your safety. If an emergency arises, call 911.
  • For this event, there are no streamers or physical controls. The sole indication of your participation will be the Satellite Navigation Track recorded in the MapRun app, or in a GPS recording watch.
  • Pets are permitted on the National Mall, but must be on the leash at all times.
  • Beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst.
How this should work:
  • This is our second fully distributed, multi-day GPS Orienteering event. We have done many trials of the approach with our one-day “COVID-normal” events this season and are pretty confident we have the bugs worked out, but this will only be the second full scale event of its type. Please email feedback to the Event Director.

  • For Participants:
    • Choose your preferred day within the event window and register.
    • Cost will be a flat fee of $ 10.00 per registration.
    • After completing registration and payment on PayPal, you will be presented a button to “Return to the Merchant.”
    • Follow that link.
    • That will provide access to the printable map files, MapRun Access Codes (PINs), printing instructions, and a MapRun tutorial.
    • If you miss this step, contact the Event Director, who will verify your registration and send the link – but this might take a day or two, depending on availability.
    • If you have not already done so, download and install MapRun6.
    • If you want a hard copy map print them from the provided package. Color printing is recommended.
    • Come to the National Mall on your chosen day and run your course.
    • For updates on standings check out the results in these course links:
    • Participate in QOC’s Course Review after the event concludes. Contact Sid Sachs for schedule specifics, tentatively planned for 8 pm Monday, 6 December.
    • If you notice unsafe conditions, or get injured, please notify the Event Director. We’ll keep updating this page with all reports in the Course Notes below.


National Mall, Federal Triangle, Washington, DC (Distributed (Nov. 22 - Dec. 4))

RegistrationJust click here to register for this event. Registration will close no later than 6pm Friday Dec. 3, 24 hours before the event closes (Sat. Dec. 4 at 6pm).

Who's registered? Check by clicking here. Sorting by column is possible too - just click on the column name.

Start TimesStart anytime during your registered day.
ScheduleFriday, November 26
12:00 pm - 12:00 pmDistributed (Nov. 22 - Dec. 4):
Event Director:Craig Shelden
Course Designer:Karla Hulett
Location Details

Distributed (Nov. 22 - Dec. 4)
National Mall
Federal Triangle
Washington, DC
Google Map

On the National Mall, the Federal Triangle (Metro) will be the start/finish for this event.

To see this location on Google Maps, click here (coordinates are 38.8938, -77.0283).

Course DetailsDistributed (Nov. 22 - Dec. 4)
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
Beginner 4.814
Short Advanced 4.215
Beige 5.416
Brown 5.517
Red 9.632
Blue 15.148
Course NotesDistributed (Nov. 22 - Dec. 4)

The National Mall and surrounding DC area provides both an historic and urban landscape for Sprint Type Orienteering.

Due to the large area and scale of the map I have designed the courses in loops.

The Beginner course is a loop through the National Monuments on the west end of the National Mall. There are few route choices.

The Advanced courses take advantage of newly mapped areas in both the southwest waterfront and GWU sections of DC.

The runner has the option of picking one of three Short Advanced courses.
1) SWW- Southwest Waterfront (Short Advanced)
2) Capitol complex and Judiciary Square (Beige), or
3) GWU -George Washington University (Brown)

If you are only doing one course I recommend the SWW – Short Advanced which visits the newly mapped waterfront area.

The Medium Advanced course (Red) visits the SWW waterfront and GWU, using two maps (loops).

The Long Advanced course (Blue) adds the Judiciary Square and Capitol areas of DC and uses three maps (loops).

All standard courses start and finish near the Federal Triangle Metro Station.

Given that the National Mall is an urban environment and special events occur, areas surrounding control points could be temporarily obstructed.

For your safety, only cross streets at marked crosswalks.

Printable Map details (after registering, see downloads for latest guidance)

All printable maps require legal sized paper to print at the labeled scale.

  • The Beginner and Short Advanced Courses can be printed on one legal sheet each. Scale should be 1:6,500.
  • The Medium Advanced Course will have a map change – probably at control 15 – for two legal sheets. Scale should be 1:6,500.
  • The Long Advanced Course will have two map changes – probably at controls 15 and 33 – for three legal sheets. Scale should be 1:6,500.

MapRun details

Within the MapRun app, the path to the files for this event is:
USA … Mid-Atlantic … Quantico … 2021 11 The National Mall

As described above, after completing the PayPal process and Returning to the Merchant, you will be presented a link to the printable maps, printing instructions, and basic MapRun tutorial.

All MapRun events should accept participants starting Monday, 22 November – watch this site for details.
All MapRun events will close at 6 pm on Saturday 04 December.
After that time no further participation will be accepted by the MapRun software.

Please review the Settings and Options portion of the tutorial.

Advanced course settings do not display position or track, but they can be turned on if desired.

Beginner course settings will display position and track, but they can be turned off if desired.

The “Show Me” feature is enabled for all courses.

All courses retain the 15-meter punch tolerance, corresponding roughly to the edge of a control circle, and can be throttled down or loosened as desired. Your specifics will almost certainly vary, but remember HITMO is your friend. If for some reason, you do not have a track in MapRun after your run, but did use a GPS watch in parallel, contact the Event Director.

Course Updates:
On 24 November we received a report that there is construction near control point # 47, which is the Go Control on all courses. That construction, at first glance, seems to make the control inaccessible, but the reporting participant assured us it was actually accessible. As always approach construction and work areas with caution.

Entry FeesIndividual Entries

Flat rate per participant entry is $10.

The entry fee provides printable map files, access codes, a MapRun tutorial (if needed), OUSA insurance, and printing instructions for courses.

Participants are welcome to orienteer together as a group or individually.

If you wish to become a QOC member you should join online in advance via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits). Membership is completely optional.