Virtual Run Challenges

Virtual/Anytime Run Challenges


To provide running challenges that runners can do at any time (individually or with others). A set of results is produced and constantly updated with new times. Runners can compare their time with others.

Unlike some virtual runs, these run challenges are on a predetermined course which runners must follow.

There is no course signage on the routes. The routes may cross roads. Individuals take responsibility for their own safety and must make their own arrangements for hydration and nutrition on the course and getting themselves back to their car safely in case of injury/bad weather.

Runners find their way around with:

a/ GPS track they upload to a device

b/ The MapRun app for mobile phone that shows the route and where they are on the route

1/ Speech House 5. This is a MapRun route.

It's an easy 5 mile trail run in the Forest of Dean. One where you can use your phone to navigate the route and one where your time is automatically recorded.

You can do it at any time. You can do it by yourself or with friends.

It’s free - and so is the car parking – next to the Speech House

The route is all on wide smooth forest fire track type trails.

You just need to download an app onto your phone. Then before you leave home download the map too. When you get to the car park you start up the app and make your way to the start.

The app starts timing as soon as you pass over the start line and beeps to let you know you’ve started. On your phone there will be a very simplistic map showing the tracks around you and the route you need to take. The beauty of this app is that it also shows where you are on the map (represented by a blue dot on the screen), so If you do take a wrong turn at any point, you’ll be able to see your error and change course.

There are 5 checkpoints along the route. As you pass by each, the phone emits a beep and times how long it took you to get there. At the finish the app records your overall time and uploads your result to an overall table of results.

It’s a bit like doing a race… but you do it when you want and with whoever you want. And you can do it as many times as you like, so if your 1st attempt wasn’t as quick as you’d like then just try again another time.

As well as being a good activity in it’s own right this would be particularly good for anyone wanting to improve (or start off) their understanding of map reading.

What to do:

Download the app from your fav place:

or search for Maprun, by FNE Enterprises

You’ll need to set up the app with your personal details then download the map at home (don’t try at the venue as there is no mobile signal). To get the map onto your phone click:

Event list – MR UK – MR Gloucestershire - Maptrail – Speech House 5 PXASV

Then after it’s downloaded just go the car park, open up the app (you may need to press ‘reload’ if you’ve been using your phone for other things). Go to near the start and press start the GPS. Cross the line and away you go.

For a full explanation of the the Maprun app and what the Maptrail is all about visit the NGOC site here:

An here is the map just in case anyone wants to download, print off and just run the route without the app.


Coming soon will be a Full Marathon (and Half Marathon) in the Forest of Dean

FoD Trails Marathon (26.2 miles) - runs on forest tracks with road stone surface - there may be some small sections that have mud on the surface but under this there is a hard base. Suitable for all weather conditions. The route takes runners to some well known FoD landmarks. The route can be started from 5 locations - the Cycle Centre (near Cannop), Cannop Ponds, Beechenhurst Lodge, Mallards Pike Lake or Parkend Village. There are two halves (circuits) so that each half can be run separately as a recce. Road shoes will be OK but after wet weather some may prefer trial shoes with some cushioning. It's hilly and has 780m of ascent/descent. There are toilets on the course - Mallards Pike Lake, Beechenhurst Lodge and Cannop Cycle Centre. Refreshments/coffee/light meals can be purchased at Cannop Cycle Centre and Beechenhurst Lodge. Please be aware that mobile phone coverage is not great in the Forest.

The route will be something like this:

FoD 'single-track' Marathon (26.2 miles) - runs on all types of surface. Where possible the route is on single track type paths, but to join one part to another there will be sections of forest fire track with a hard surface. The route will be muddy in winter or when wet - trail/fell shoes advised in these conditions. Like the trail marathon, the route is hilly.

Map coming soon.