Since I've started doing these little runs I have been recording them using a Garmin Forerunner 405cx.
Unfortunately a couple of years back I lost my original one at an event so had to get a replacement. At the time I was only able to get a second hand one which meant that the battery was of an undetermined age and condition, so whilst initially I could get around 7 hours of life out of it, over the last year this has begun to diminish markedly, especially in colder weather, to the point I picked-up another one on eBay to have as a reserve to start when during a race the battery dies.
Recently though the battery has been giving me grief as it will die at any point from 4 hours onwards, so rather than persisting in carrying 2 watches and having long runs split in 2, I decided to take the plunge and get a new watch especially with the forthcoming summer of ultras requiring longer timing than before.
Looking around I found I could get hold of a Garmin factory refurbished Fenix 2 for a fraction of the RRP (shipped over from the States) and for only £20 more than I paid for my original Forerunner... So I indulged myself.
The Fenix 2 seems to be designed for ultra running with a 16 hour battery on it, along with the built-in route following ability that allows you to drop a course in to it and follow visually, so if you drift-off you can see where you are in relation to it and correct yourself - something that could prove to be pretty useful!
The major thing in its favour is that it doesn't have the god-awful irritating touch bezel of the Forerunner that seemed to have a mind of its own and was temperamental in its responsiveness. This watch runs entirely on the 5 buttons in a fairly intuitive manner. Already I'm liking this, plus it works with the existing heart rate monitor and cadence sensor I use so there's no need to buy any accessories.
Another thing in its favour is the ability to charge it whilst it is in use, so for the forthcoming Lakeland 50 that looks like it would push the 16 hour battery life to its limit, by taking its charging cradle and a small power bar in my running kit I will be able to top-up the power whilst in an aid station and not worry about it dying on me... Result!
I'm looking-forward to playing with my new toy over the next few months!