Customer Reviews: Timex Marathon GPS Watch
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on April 18, 2012
I've been running recreationally for four years, three to four times a week, usually with one long run on Sundays. I bought this watch two weeks ago because I wanted a cheap, simple, waterproof GPS watch that shows current running speed.

For those of you new to GPS watches, you should know that GPS watches don't give you an instant pace, but an "average" current pace over some number of seconds. During my first run, I did a little experiment to see how fast this watch picks up the change in speed. At warm-up, watch was showing 6.1min/km. I sped up to the pace I know from experience was about 5 min/km. Initially nothing happened. After 20-30 seconds, pace changed to 5.8, then after another 10-15 seconds to 5.6, and it kept going down. It took around a minute to go down to 5.1min/km.

It is fairly simple to use: you press the GPS button, wait 30 seconds to pick up the signal, click "Mode" few times till you find "Run", and press "Start". Watch display is quite large, easy to see, and you can adjust the contrast of letters vs the background. Display shows time/distance/current pace. You can change that to time/distance/km/ per hour (for biking) or time/distance/calories or few other combinations.

You can do automatic laps, or splits, and you can use it indoors, like a normal chronograph watch.

The watch is fairly bulky, like other GPS watches on the market.

-Great battery life of 8 hours of running (apparently it lasts few months as a normal watch)
-Easy to re-charge off the USB port
-Waterproof, you can swim with it
-The cheapest GPS running watch on the market

-No option of downloading data , although you can save the runs and review them on the watch. One of the web reviews said that Soleus cable can be used to download data, but Timex company has obviously chosen not to offer that option.
-No heart rate monitor (there is a small heart symbol, and my suspicion is Timex has not provided that option, either, probably because nobody would be buying their more expensive watches if this one offered the same features for a third of the price)
-Buttons are sensitive, I switched indiglo light on few times by accident.

For the price of $99, this is a very good value. It's so much cheaper than other GPS watches on the market. If you need a very basic, no-fuss watch to monitor your time, distance and pace on medium to long runs, this will do the job.

I would prefer to give it 4.5 stars due to sensitive buttons, but apart from that, the watch does what it promises, and price is amazing.
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on April 13, 2012
I purchased this GPS watch to help my training for an upcoming 10K. I was looking for a watch that could tell me my current pace, because I was trying to maintain a 7.5min/mile pace for my training. The watch fit well and is a little bulky, but that is to be expected. The GPS took about 30 seconds to fix, and that was after I found a clearing where there was no tree branch overhang. I usually start my runs with a short walk followed by a slow jog for a quarter mile where I will then stop and strech for a bit before I start the bulk of my run. I did not stop the timer because I was more interested in the distance I covered and my current pace, so I didn't care that the timer was still moving (Starting a timed run is how the process works. You start the timer with the GPS active and it measures distance, pace, and time elapsed). What I noticed after I began running again at a fairly fast speed - what I thought was approximately a 7.5 min/mile pace, was that the pace it was reporting was still in the high teens and only slowly incrementing downwards as I ran. I stopped my run, reset the clock, and restarted. It then showed a much faster speed. Long story short is that the pace the watch offers is only an AVERAGE PACE, not a CURRENT PACE. I scoured the small booklet that comes with it to see if I could change a setting, but alas not. I am sending it back because although overall pace might be good for a long run where current pace is not as important, but for those who are doing speed work or interval runs who need to know how fast they are going AT THAT MOMENT, then this watch will not suit.

If anyone can tell me another GPS watch that offers the feature I seek at this watch's price point I would be grateful.
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on December 2, 2012
This is my 3rd GPS watch. The first 2 were Garmin and Motorola. Garmin was getting old and could not get satellite fix reliably, while the Motorola was full featured but recently it has been recording my runs as multisport much to my annoyance. I switched to this watch thinking less features may mean less possible points of failure.

I like the simplicity of this watch. While on the run, tells you your time, distance covered and (almost) current pace. There are options to view other data but usually the default is good enough for me. After your run, you will then be able to see a whole load of other data points such as average pace and lap times. The waterproofing gives me peace of mind when the weather gets wet.

The bulk is not too bad really, it's not much bigger than most GPS watches out there. It looks and feels so regular that I wear even when I am not running.

I wish I could upload my runs to track them. Right now I just have to record my times manually. I also wish the charging cable is a generic USB port rather than a proprietary clip so that I could charge it in different locations. But I think that would make it more difficult to waterproof the watch.

So far I am happy with the watch. It does what it says. Getting a GPS fix is fairly quick at about 30 secs which is good enough for me.

Once again, five stars if I could upload my runs. But at this price I think they've done an honestly good job.

Go for it if you want a simple GPS watch with no upload feature.
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on October 25, 2012
The Times Marathon GPS Watch was exactly what I wanted. It accurately tells me the distance of all of my runs and also the time. I can also set it to tell me my split time at different distances. I have been wanting a GPS running watch for 2 or 3 years to tell me the distance of my runs more accurately than I was getting by estimating them by time. I didn't want to pay $300 or $400 and this came along at just under $100. The display is easy to read and it does update your approximate pace every few seconds. You can also stop and restart the stopwatch if you have to stop at a stoplight. You can store the data from up to 30 runs to look back at later. You have to charge it on your computer and I was a little worried about that, since I only have a laptop, but it works fine. I'm extremely happy with purchase.
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on October 21, 2013
This is the first GPS I have ever bought. About the only thing good I can say about the product is that I got it for a pretty low price. The minutes/mile pace numbers at the bottom are huge and easy to read, but useless while actually running. This would be a good idea to have these numbers large if it actually worked in real time. The top line of numbers is the time elapsed while running and is somewhat difficult to quickly read while running partially to the slightly too small size and due mostly because the numbers run together without any space between the numbers. If your current time running is for example 20 minutes, 30 seconds and 52/100ths it looks like this on your watch: 203052 with no space between the numbers! Yes, there is a ' between minutes and seconds, and a " between seconds and hundreths, but is designed in such a way that there is still no space between the number digits. 20'30"52 typed allows space between the numbers, but on this watch the numbers are not spaced as I just typed. If it was, it would at least be easier to read while on the run. The normal format of 20:30 with the 52 hundreths in smaller font would be easier to read.

Also, there are other brands of watches the same price range that I could have bought, but I bought Timex wrongly thinking at least the inner part of the watch was built in the U.S. However, it is all manufactured in China with Chinese materials. No reason to buy for the Timex name. I have yet to buy any electronic device made in China that does not fail in a short period of time. Will be surprised if this watch is still functioning properly in a year.

If you are looking for a low end GPS watch, get the one with the largest numbers for time elapsed and distance numbers. Does not matter which brand since they all appear to be made in China. The only real use for the pace time is after you stop your run and view the average pace overall and for each lap. I realize that pace in real time is not accurate even on the high end watches, but knowing this, it is important to get a watch where these numbers are small so that there is room to make the important real time numbers large such as running time elapsed and distance. Also, even though I have figured out on my own how to use many of the functions of the watch, it could be alot more user friendly. The mini-manual that comes with the watch tells you very little. This watch will serve its purpose, but I would recommend getting a competitor model that has larger digits.
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VINE VOICEon October 23, 2014
The Timex Marathon GPS Watch is a great addition to my running gear. This is the first GPS watch I have owned and it proves that good information changes performance for the better. In the Set mode, the watch has a time/date function that lets the user key in information by time zone. I use the Washington D.C. Daylight Savings zone. In Set, I selected Auto GPS so the watch uses satellite information from the GMT source for accurate time and date display. The display shows WAS WE (zone & day) on line 1, 10-22 (month & day) on line 2, and time 8:08:08 (hour, minutes, seconds) on line 3. All three lines are easy to read in light, and in Night mode the Indigo light source stays on continuously lighting up the watch face.

From the Time display, a press of the Mode button switches the display to Run. The user has 2 choices: GPS or Indoors. With GPS the watch searches for a satellite. The Indoor selection does not use the satellite. In my backyard prior to a GPS run, I stand still while the watch searches and locks on a satellite (about 2 minutes). The watch is now in Run mode and displays all zeros for elapsed time and distance run. I push the start button and the watch shows elapsed time on line 1, distance run on line 2, and pace per mile on line 3. I head out on my course and check the display frequently as the watch recalculates position and pace. At the first mile, the watch displays and holds the information for the mile including elapsed time, distance, and pace for a few seconds. Then the watch returns to the total display as the user continues into the second mile of the run. At the end of the second mile, the display shows mile 2 information for a few seconds and then returns to the total run display.

At the end of the run, the user pushes the stop button and the totals for the run are displayed, again elapsed time, distance, and pace. Holding the stop button down for a few seconds saves the data from the run in a file labeled numerically (1, 2, …). The user can then push the Mode button to Run Data to look at the overall information or wait until later and review the performance. The first press shows the file number, date and lap number 1, and GPS or Indoor category. Then a press of the View button shows the user clock time of start and finish and elapsed run time. Pushing the view button again gives the overall elapsed time, distance, and pace. The next push of the view button gives the distance run and calories used based on performance during the run and body description the user has entered in the User mode (Gender, Age, Weight, Height) of the Set function. Pushing the view again shows Lap number 1 (1 mile from Auto Lap setting) and elapsed time for that mile. Repeated pushing of the View button shows elapsed time for each mile run until the last mile or portion of a mile. One more push of the View button allows the user to stay in View mode, Delete the file, or delete All files.

I looked at many GPS watches and all were more expensive than this Timex. It gives me all the information that I want, is easy to program, has a nice large display, has good battery life and the battery is easily charged via the included USB cable, is light and fits my wrist well. Outstanding product and I recommend it highly.
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on March 31, 2013
This watch is exactly what I needed.I don't use statistics on my computer, and for the basic need from a GPS watch - distance,pace it does a great job.

I helped me keep a pace in a 3:15 Marathon...
Thumbs up
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on April 26, 2012
My husband got this watch for me! For what I like to see while I am running this is great! I haven't run into any problems yet. The GPS does take a few minutes to locoate but then it works fine. I see my pace, mileage & actual time it is taking me. That is all I need. I would highly recommend it!
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on April 15, 2015
I have had this GPS watch for almost two years now and I LOVE it! I tried all my friends and relatives GPS watches before I settled on this one. I knew this Timex's limitations before I bought it and have NOT felt like I was missing out on anything. I don't want to download my daily 3.2 mile runs to my computer or to a website.
I live in the FLAT lands of south louisiana and it works perfectly well with this topography. When we stayed in the hills of North Carolina for several days, I felt that it was "shorting" me on my distances and verified. It does NOT calculate altitude. There are more expensive (and bigger) GPS watches out there that do include altitude calculations and will download to your computer or website but I don't need or want those abilities so this one is perfect for me and my needs.

- it is lightweight, not too big and is comfortable on my wrist.
- the battery life STILL is always longer than 8 hours of ACTUAL GPS use. I'm still averaging about 8.5 hours of GPS time between charges.
- south Lousiana weather is sometimes rainy, sometimes VERY overcast with thick, low cloud cover and this watch has NEVER failed to lock onto the GPS satellites. I hike trails with lots of overhead branches, etc. and have never had any problems with the GPS dropping the satellites. The ONLY time I had any sort of a problem was on an absolutely clear, not a cloud in the sky, sunny day. (Go figure!)

- the watch band has typical Timex issues. I have a box of still-running Timex ironman watches with broken bands. I have learned to be extremely gentle in the putting it on and taking it off process. I do NOT wear it other than when I'm hiking, jogging, walking. The rest of the time it sits waiting its turn.
- some people think this watch has pace issues. FYI - EVERY practical ability of measuring and displaying your pace while you are walking or running involves some sort of compromise in the way it calculates. Pedometers have to measure or assume your stride length - that changes with the speed of your walk or run - then the pedometer calculates the distance and does the time vs distance to give you your pace. They then have the same problem as GPS watches have - too long a period of averaging and your pace seems to not update when you know you have increased your speed, too short a period of averaging and your pace appears to be very erratic. I don't need instantaneous "pace." The GPS timer function works perfectly as does the distance so I'm able to glance at my watch and know what my rough pace is. After my "run" is over, the time and distance are both precisely displayed as is the pace. I don't do any kinds of races so a precise pace capability is not interesting to me.
- the buttons are large enough that I don't have to put on my glasses to operate them. They work well to navigate me through the watch's menu. I can operate them in the winter with my gloves on. BUT... they are easily accidentally pushed when the watch is placed on my countertop or moved about. I've learned to be careful or I'll find the GPS function turned on for who know how long. (Hmmmm... I wonder how much battery is left?)

Other thoughts: I don't use this for any other purpose than as a GPS watch for my "runs." I have never used the alarm or stopwatch functions. The GPS "running" display can be easily modified to show what I want or need. I set it up when I first bought it and have not needed to change it.

Bottom line? I love this watch - it is PERFECT for me and my needs. It has no bells and whistles but I don't want them. It does what I need, it is very reasonably priced. I recommend it for anyone who understands that it is a basic GPS watch and does not want the bells and whistles and associated capabilities.
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on April 7, 2013
Takes FOREVER to locate a gps signal!!! This alone knocks off a few stars since the other features are marginal and standard on other gps watches. If I could buy another, I would go with a Garmin!
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