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Finding out about events

Finding the event

What to bring

What to wear


Choosing a course

Getting ready to go


After your run

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About 2 or 3 minutes before your actual start time, the pre-start official will call your start time.  Give the pre-start official the stub from the end of your control card or the start slip that you got from registration, and step into the first pre-start box.  There are usually two or three start boxes marked on the ground with tape.

Each minute you will move forward one box until you are at the start line itself. &nsp;At this point the start official should point out the locations of the master maps or the pre-marked maps.  Make sure that you know which one is yours.

About 10 seconds before your start time the start official will say something very similar to "Ten seconds to go.  Step over the line.  Go on the long beep."  Step over the tape at the front of the start box and get ready to go.  If the event is using master maps it is helpful to have your map out of its plastic bag at this point, because you will need access to it to copy down your course.

At 5 seconds before your start time the start clock will start to beep.   "Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beeeeep."   Start when you hear that final long beep.  Alternatively, the start official may blow a whistle at the start time.  If you have a stopwatch facility on your watch you may like to start it at this point so that you can keep track of how long you've been out on the course.

Quite a lot of events are now using an electronic "punching start".   In this case your time starts when you punch at the start control rather than when the start clock beeps.

If the event is using pre-marked maps then pick up the appropriate map, get yourself oriented, and set off.

If the event is using master maps then go to the relevant master map and copy down your course.  Make sure that you put your circles in exactly the right places.  It's a real pain to get half way round the course and then find that you've mis-copied the course.   Put the relevant number beside each circle.  I also put lines linking the circles, but some people don't bother to do this.   The start location is indicated by a triangle, and the finish is indicated by two circles, one inside the other.

Once you're happy that you've got an accurate copy of your course, put your map back into its plastic bag, stow away your red pen, check that you've got everything -- compass, whistle, control card, control descriptions and map -- and set off.

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