Dot Watching…For those looking on from outside the circle, the entertainment value cannot be described or quantified. Watching a red dot jux position,
intermittently around a map, for hours on end. I mean, what is there not to love about this edge of the seat entertainment!
So what exactly is “Dot Watching”. This is a term commonly used for following competitors in an event, where there is live GPS tracking.
Such events are usually long ultra style races that range from 6 hours all the way up to 72hours. Each competitor will be fitted with a gps tracker. Usually pocket size that they carry on their person from the starters gun right up to the finish line. This tracker sends GPS signals of the competitors position throughout
the event and their progress can be traced through a web portal for all to see.
If you are not directly involved or didn’t know someone who is represented by one of these dots, it could possibly be mistaken as some sort of punishment to have to endure that. But to those who do know someone taking part, it can suck you in.
Think about it this way, these races usually cover the longer events where there are more factors at play than say perhaps the standard adventure rate. The DNF (Did not finish) rate an be higher than your normal race. The chances of mechanical issues is higher. The chances of injury are higher. All these factors and more. And also the FOMO…”The Fear Of Missing Out”. As you are not on site, directly involved or taking part, you don’t know what’s happening.
Most of these races take part in the most remote places and are not easily accessible. Put simply it is a great way to support from a distance and be part of your friends adventure if you cant make it in person yourself.
Last year, I took on my first Ultra doing the Quest 12 hour race and it was fantastic way for friends and family to feel like they were a part of the journey by keeping an eye on my progress.
Some noted races where you can partake in a spot of “Dot Watch” are The Beast, Quest 12.24, The Race, The Wicklow Way Ultra and loads more.
Why not follow Primal Tracking on Facebook and they regularly post upcoming races with live GPS tracking.
All we can say here is…Do not knock it till you have tried it!
If you enjoyed this article, there are plenty more like it!
This was extracted from June/July magazine.
Make sure to tune into the upcoming issue for more…