Christmas Lights Run

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Christmas Lights run 2020 - Ho Ho Ho!

One of our club traditions is to have a pre Christmas run around Ashbourne looking at everyone's lights and decorations. Despite all the restrictions we still wanted to do something similar this year. So we have an orienteering style challenge around town that links those amazing houses where the owners have gone festive crazy, whilst also taking in some of the other lights. If you do the full course then you can expect to run just under 7 miles but you can easily choose a shorter run by ticking off fewer checkpoints, all runs must include the start and finish checkpoints though in order to receive a time. It uses your smart phone and GPS to record progress around a number of virtual checkpoints starting and finishing by the Christmas tree in the market place.

There is a very clever app you first need to put on your phone. This gives you a map on the phone showing all the checkpoints but you can also choose to print out a map (see link below). You could even run with just the paper map and forget the app but doing it with the app is more fun! You can then run whenever you like, night or day, however many times you like. The app will show all our results as well. Post some photos on our Facebook page too and let us know how you get on.

This virtual event means you no longer have to punch your dibber at each carefully placed and padlocked checkpoint. Instead the GPS location of each checkpoint is pre-loaded onto your phone. Then once you get within approximately 10m of the checkpoint your device will detect it with a beep, update the ‘last checkpoint’ with the checkpoint number and off you go to your next checkpoint. At the end all your route details can be downloaded. All this means you can run the course at any time as no-one has to put the checkpoints out physically on the ground.

The free app you need for this is called MapRunF and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play App Stores. Then:

  1. Start the App, read and accept the terms and conditions then tap “Name” and register your details.
  2. Go to "Select Event", then “UK” Folder, then “Derbyshire” folder, then “Ashbourne RC” folder, then “ARC Christmas Lights 2020".
  3. Downloading the course should then start and can take several seconds. On the main screen you should then see the course name displayed below “Select Event”. Double check this is “ARC Christmas Lights 2020 PXAS ScoreV120 ”.
  4. You’re now ready to run. Make sure your phone battery is fully charged!
  5. The map on your phone is sufficient to navigate by but you can also download and print one from ARC Christmas Lights 2020 Course Map if you prefer paper.
  6. For a preview of the route, tap “Go to Start” on the screen and you'll see the map with the numbered checkpoints marked on it.
  7. Tap "Go to Start" when you arrive at the market place Christmas tree , your phone will beep when it detects the start point, the timer is started and you can start running. Make sure your phone has detected the start and the timer is running before you leave the market place Christmas tree, you may need to walk around the tree until your phone gets a fix.
  8. The aim of the event is to visit as many of the checkpoints as you like. Checkpoints can be post boxes, road or path junctions or other features. You don't have to visit each checkpoint in numerical order but following the sequence presents all the displays in a logical order as you progress around town.
  9. The GPS on your smartphone registers when you are at each checkpoint. Your will hear a beep and vibrate signal. Each checkpoint visited scores 20 points.
  10. The “Time” box (top left of screen) displays elapsed time since the start, the “Remaining” shows the time you have left for your race. A 2hour time limit has been set.
  11. When your phone beeps / vibrates , move onto your next checkpoint on the map and repeat until finished.
  12. At the finish, your phone beeps to show that you have completed the course.
  13. Once you've finished, tap “Show Results” to see your time, compare your time with others or with your own result from previous attempts.

Please take care and observe the latest social distancing rules and guidelines when you run. The route will take you through the centre of town and across main roads so it might be better to choose a quieter time of day for your run when there's less traffic and fewer pedestrians about. Although this event is organised by the club, please be aware that our England Athletics third party insurance does not apply as you are running as individuals at your own risk, not on a supervised club group run.


Once your phone has detected the start and the timer is running don't go back past the Christmas tree until you want to finish!

Your last checkpoint must be the market place Christmas tree in order to stop the clock but you don't have to visit all the intermediate checkpoints.

Passing the same checkpoint twice isn't a problem, Your phone will beep for both visits but record the second as a duplicate.

If you have a Garmin watch you can download routes to, then you can download MapRunG to the watch and just run with your watch rather than your phone. To do this get the MapRunF app as described above and then follow these instructions MapRunG

A number of club members have been successfully using MapRunF and MapRunG for a while now. If you experience problems please check these links for advice:

Quick Guide

Phone Settings & Troubleshooting

If these don’t sort it out for you then please contact us at and we'll do our best to get you back up and running.

ARC Christmas Lights 2020 Course Map