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Thread: Frexit!

  1. #1
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Frexit!

    With the non-publication of the letter about use of GPS in the magazine...and its escape onto bookface, I can see a row blowing up that will make Brexit look like a tea-party!

    Has anyone told always injured yet??!!
    I am Kuno....

  2. #2
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
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    Browsed through the thread a bit but is very poalarized and gets very repetative. What pisses me off is the assumption by the "anti" lot is that the rest of them are clueless in the hills (which undoubtedly there are people like that) and a danger to themselves and to whoever has to go find them when their battery runs out.

    I would consider myself a pretty decent navigator, but I have often gone off in the mountains with my GPS device becasue it allows me to cover a lot more ground in the limited time I have due to a young family.

    I would not need to have my nose in it for every step but as a reference every so often to ensure I am going in the right direction.

    I would always have my map and compass in the bag (and know how to use them)


    The nonsense of the debate is that a runner follows somebody he knows will know a good route for virtually the whole race then sprints past him near the end has not cheated. But somebody who knows the route pretty well checks his plot once to ensure he takes a particular turn has cheated.

  3. #3
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    From my letter to Nick Harris:


    You will be aware of the current controversy on the use of GPS devices to navigate in fell races. Navigation has always been part of fell running, and hopefully that will long continue. Permitting the use of GPS derived distance, height, time, and as a compass is logical, and it would be senseless to try to prevent runners looking at these during the event. But using pre-stored bread crumb trails or arrows that point to stored checkpoints can make navigation so easy that it completely changes the nature of the event - and to have some doing this and some not would be like having 5 year olds and adults in the same race - it makes for two different events that just happen to be taking place simultaneously.
    Ambleside AC has put considerable thought into the issue and has come up with a sensible rule. Rather than having individual ROs decide on the issue for themselves, it would be quite straightforward for the FRA to take on the "Ambleside Rule" as its default setting, with those ROs who wish to opt out of this rule doing so by notifying the FRA accordingly. I think the number of ROs who would wish to opt out would be very few.
    Otherwise I fear the sport will fragment into factions, each with their own different set of rules - which would be a sad day for what is meant to be a simple and pleasurable sport.
    And just to touch on the issue of safety - what could happen to a fell novice attempting the Great Lakes Race with a pre stored trail to follow does not bear thinking about.

  4. #4
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Mike, I appreciate your calm and balanced view but I fear it will be swept away by hysteria and hyperbole.
    For what its worth, consider the situation of Vinyl. When CD's arrived people danced on the grave of vinyl and many people sold their vinyl collections.
    Now, a whole new generation are turning on to vinyl because of the purity and warmth of the sound and the pleasure of handling an 'artifact'.

    Maybe Fell Running/racing can be like that and it should be preserved with original ethos intact so that, in the future, a generation to come can rediscover its purity, simplicity and honest challenge.

    Who cares if, as the doom mongers say, the initial impact of an Ambleside Rule would be to damage the popularity of the sport? It never was aiming to be 'mass participation' was it?
    I am Kuno....

  5. #5
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
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    Taking a risk here but I will nail my colours to the mask. Personally I would not use a GPS in a race, but still I would be against this request for a ban. Reading the comments on Facebook you would swear that all those blokes are showing up at the start line of a race in which they have no idea of the route and then expertly use map and compass to navigate themselves around. We all know that 99% of the time, that is rubbish. The majority will probably have done it before/reccied the route. The rest will follow the shirt in front.

    The example of showing up at the Great Lakes Race with a gps track is nonsense. A runner should not even be allowed to enter a race like that unless they have demostrated clear ability in that type of race by having done done similar races in the past.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DrPatrickBarry View Post
    Taking a risk here but I will nail my colours to the mask. Personally I would not use a GPS in a race, but still I would be against this request for a ban. Reading the comments on Facebook you would swear that all those blokes are showing up at the start line of a race in which they have no idea of the route and then expertly use map and compass to navigate themselves around. We all know that 99% of the time, that is rubbish. The majority will probably have done it before/reccied the route. The rest will follow the shirt in front.

    The example of showing up at the Great Lakes Race with a gps track is nonsense. A runner should not even be allowed to enter a race like that unless they have demostrated clear ability in that type of race by having done done similar races in the past.
    Because I am very old and even wiser I can remember where I was when I heard that President John Kennedy had been shot (22nd November 1963) and even before that when Buddy Holly had died (on 3rd February 1959). Similarly I can recall the exact spot when, in an event running alongside another runner who was using a GPS, the power of his device was revealed to me when we went slightly off-route.

    Of course the navigational skills of many fell runners lie in the realms of fantasy. And of course most of the content on facebook is bilge posted by people who are not fell runners, would not know how to switch a GPS device on and struggle to form a coherent sentence. But a big question has to be addressed.

    It is a given that fell races are organised by race organisers.“My race - my rules”. But many RO wish to arrange their races under the aegis of the FRA because of the benefits: publicity, insurance, legal support at an Inquest when a runner dies in an event,…all that the FRA provides.

    And so have developed over last 50 years a raft of rules (“raft” being an apposite word here); a set of rules and principles to guide and protect the sport.

    So in the case of GPS usage the FRA has to take a view: balancing the freedom of runners to do what they want unfettered, their relationship with and duty towards RO and their role as guardians of the underpinning philosophy of fell running. What is the nature of the sport for which the FRA is the governing body and what does that translate to in terms of regulations? This is a serious question beyond the trivia of facebook postings and beyond footling protestations about the practicalities of checking runners’ wrists.

    Now it may be I am seen as living in the past and I have never used a GPS device to route find in my life, but I care about the future of fell running and what the sport is losing as the years go by and so I hope the FRA Committee's deliberations conclude with a sound and balanced position.
    Last edited by Graham Breeze; 27-07-2018 at 11:06 AM.
    "...as dry as the Atacama desert".

  7. #7
    Master noel's Avatar
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    I was discussing this with William Clough in the boozer last night. I've received a few suggestions that I should ban the use of GPSs in the new AL race Pennine are organising in September: Groovy Kinder Love .

    However, having reccied the route using a GPS, I am convinced anyone doing this in race conditions would be substantially slower than anyone who has done a reccie and/or knows the area. So, I'm profoundly chilled with people taking GPS on races, as long as they also have a map and compass.

    Perhaps the comparison we should be making is to the many runners who take a map and compass but who plan to follow someone. If they get dropped by that person, they then have to revert to using a map. This is just the same as if someone's GPS breaks.
    No longer "resting"

  8. #8
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noel View Post
    This is just the same as if someone's GPS breaks.
    It is not quite the same; at least when the GPS broke you knew where your were at that stage. If you were parachuted onto the side of a mountain (by following somebody else) then had to work out where your are, that is not easy, best to wait for somebody else to arrive and then follow them

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by noel View Post
    I was discussing this with William Clough in the boozer last night. I've received a few suggestions that I should ban the use of GPSs in the new AL race Pennine are organising in September: Groovy Kinder Love .

    However, having reccied the route using a GPS, I am convinced anyone doing this in race conditions would be substantially slower than anyone who has done a reccie and/or knows the area. So, I'm profoundly chilled with people taking GPS on races, as long as they also have a map and compass.

    Perhaps the comparison we should be making is to the many runners who take a map and compass but who plan to follow someone. If they get dropped by that person, they then have to revert to using a map. This is just the same as if someone's GPS breaks.
    Oh noel noel!

    I am considering the philosophy of fellrunning and you are thinking about dying GPS batteries. The sport is doomed!!
    Last edited by Graham Breeze; 27-07-2018 at 11:26 AM.
    "...as dry as the Atacama desert".

  10. #10
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPatrickBarry View Post
    The nonsense of the debate is that a runner follows somebody he knows will know a good route for virtually the whole race then sprints past him near the end has not cheated. But somebody who knows the route pretty well checks his plot once to ensure he takes a particular turn has cheated.
    I would say this is a tactical racing decision that has risks - even locals are prone to error! - and this tactical decision is too a part of Fell Running alongside when to hang back/push on, when to try a sneaky line that you aren't too sure will work, when to take on more terrain for a shorter route etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseum

    The advantage/effect of following a GPS breadcrumb trace will vary across all the events in the FRA calendar - after all they are all different!

    Were I organising a nice short peaks race that is ostensibly fully flagged with a defined route to follow for the duration I would happily allow GPS to be used.
    Were I organising the Edale Skyline (route-choice between CPs, navigational challenge of Brown Knoll - well back before it was paved anyway - and responding to the visibility thrown at you) I wouldn't.
    Last edited by ba-ba; 27-07-2018 at 12:20 PM.
    Nic Barber, Pennine. Downhill Dandy

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