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TOPIC: Proposal to Ban GPS Watches from Fell Races

Proposal to Ban GPS Watches from Fell Races 05 Aug 2018 12:33 #19926

  • DominicShields
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I am quite concerned that a movement has got underway without first checking that we are all talking about the same thing or even understanding the exact capabilities of the devices in question. This is what I wrote in an email to various people who have been discussing this.
Reading this article I am even more convinced that before any decisions are made there needs to be an exact definition of what we are seeking to ban.
For example, I know many runners who run to a high standard who are perfectly happy with these Garmin GPS running watches that do not have any form of return to start or following uploaded courses

and the extremely popular Forerunner 235 only claims to have the "back to start" feature which could only ever be described as a safety feature, having used this once I had to slow to a walk to follow it - thus making me question the entire premise even though I accept that one try of something does not make me proficient.

There is another issue that does worry me slightly from my experience with golf - some manufacturers of sporting equipment have been known to undertake litigation against sporting bodies they feel are unfairly penalising their products - I put the likelihood of this here as remote but Garmin have huge resources and might start to worry about precedents being set. For example there is a hardcore belief among some that the UKA rules do not permit devices that assist pacing in races and a strict interpretation would seem to by implication ban anything that tells you what pace you are running at. If this was enforced then I suggest that Garmin would be pretty much forced to act.

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