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Testing the Suunto Ambit 2S- part one!

We've loaned Julia a test Suunto Ambit 2S watch, and she has been out on one of our lovelier local trails with it. Read her initial thoughts here...

Ambit 2S

It was such a pleasure to run along the ridge between Penyghent and Plover Hill last weekend without squelching up to my knees in bog with every step.

The dry, fabulous weather has made this lovely run an absolute delight - once the sweatbox ascent is over with of course! Usually a peat bog of Dickensian proportions, the ridge run takes you along approximately two miles of Dales altitude. The plateau has dried up to leave an invitingly runnable route - made even more appealing as it is one of the quieter trails around Three Peaks country.

2013-07-14 12.06.40

I parked in Horton-in-Ribblesdale and headed up Penyghent by way of Brackenbottom. Once at the top I ran along the ridge to Plover Hill, down the steep steps and back along the bridleway past Hull Pot and down the track to Horton. I clocked the route with the Suunto Ambit 2 S, a new incarnation of the Ambit which gives a more slimline and lighter GPS watch. With a sleeker look and weightloss comes only slightly slimmed down features as the altimeter and barometer function of the 2 is sacrificed in favour of a much more wearable gadget to appeal to both sexes.

I’m still getting to grips with the Ambit 2S as it has so many features, especially online for analysis and training, however, the basic watch is pretty easy to set up and get going. The first satellite hook-up takes a few minutes but once locked on it doesn’t lose the connection.

The Suunto clocked the run at a little over 12km with almost 500m of ascent – that’s 7.5 miles and 1600 feet in old money - I’m being approximate because I forgot to start the watch straight away so it’s not a true stat for the route.

Data from the watch is downloaded to the Movescount website set up for Suunto products where you can analyse your run. Free apps for the watch are available via this site which can enable your device to do even more stuff for you. You can also download GPX files to use on the navigation feature of the watch. I haven’t yet tried these last two options – more blogging to follow when I’ve had a go!

Gadgets such as this Suunto have stiff competition in the form of free apps such as Strava, so what does it offer that a free app doesn’t?

A better interface and instant way of viewing your data for starters. The push of a button gives you the option of scrolling through your distance, ascent, pace and time without having to wait for synchronisation. And you don’t have to choose whether or not to “private” your exercise at the point of saving your run, which gets rid of that whole fear that your most rubbish run for years is accidentally loud and proud for all to see on Facebook.

2013-07-14 12.01.03

What a watch (or a free app) can’t tell you about a route is the pure joy in it. I saw an abundance of birdlife, admired views to make an artist weep with ecstasy and experienced that feeling of gratitude and luck in having such an amazing place right on my doorstep.