The GPX Library
INTRODUCING THE GPX LIBRARY
Mike Wolfe and Hal Koerner navigating the John Muir Trail during their FKT.
Photo credit: Jeff Banowetz.
Another trail race season is well and truly upon us and, like last year, the calendar is jam packed with racing goodness! However, this means that many runners will not have a chance to properly recce courses, which increases the risk of getting lost on race day.
The team at Gone Running believes course navigation is a joint responsibility – race directors should put on a well-marked course, but runners should do their best to learn the course (if possible) as it’s insurance against markings going missing or getting tampered with, or just plain having a brain melt!
As a runner, if you don't have time to recce the course, one option is to get a GPS watch that has navigation features. You upload the course GPX file to your watch, and then bring up the course map on your watch via the navigation menu on race day (we will publish detailed instructions later). This is obviously also useful for recces or training.
From here, you just make sure that you (the triangle) stay on the squiggly line (the course), but if the triangle starts deviating off the line, then you are headed the wrong way. It is surprisingly intuitive and, with a little practice, you will even get the hang of predicting when the turn offs are coming.
We have run the races and have put together this little GPX library for you to download. Please note we will do our best, but we cannot guarantee they will always be 100% correct, especially if there are last minute course changes, so always keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. Also, there is an inherent "short cutting" that happens when an organic, twisty trail is converted into a series of straight lines, so don't be alarmed if the GPX file under-reports the actual course distance.
Here are the links to our downloadable GPX files and the navigation-enabled GPS watches you will need to use the navigation features. Feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions for more routes in the library!