Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Garmin 610: A Great Watch, Bad GPS and User Support

This will be my first post detailing my questionable experience with the Garmin Forerunner 610 watch.

Background: I am avid runner. I would probably say that I am addicted to running. I was a track runner in high school. Rarely venturing above 800m. I stopped running after high school, only to pick it back up 14 years later in 2004. After years of getting injured during my running restart, I eventually ran my first marathon in 2006 in 3:06 (New York). 2007 was a washout, but in 2008 I was able to train more regularly and eventually run a string of 9 marathons in 3:20, 3:15, 3:01, 2:58, 2:55, 2:52, 2:53, 2:56, 2:48.

I run 3000+ miles a year and a valuable tool I have found was the Garmin Forerunner 305 I purchases in May 2008. It has been great, never had any problems except for the occasional hard reset needed. Earlier this year, it seemed that the battery life was lagging and the watch actually shut off on me during a rainy 25k. However, it still worked, though that new Garmin Forerunner 610 looked promising and could probably be a good replacement for the 305. Oh boy was I wrong.

So, I was in Boston at the Boston Marathon expo when I stupidly remembered that I forgot my Garmin 305 at home. Yes it was not on purpose. Since it was still Friday and the expo was still open I headed over to the Garmin booth, and they still had some Garmin 610's left @ $399.99. I have a great wife and thought of this as a treat for myself as running is really my only hobby.

Everything was great, I ran the marathon in 2:48 and the Garmin 610 seemed to work well. I had noticed that it was a little slow at the start, but nonetheless it measured 26.36 miles. However, once I got back home I would find that the Garmin 610 was not all it cracked up to be.

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