On Friday, October 11th at 5:15am, I set out just a mile from my home in Tahoe City to attempt to break the Fastest Known Time for the Tahoe Rim Trail. I was running from Tahoe City clockwise all the way around Lake Tahoe, hoping to finish in under 38 hours and 32 minutes and break the record set in 2009 by Kilian Jornet. Ultimately, however, I ended up finishing the 172-mile trail in 45 hours, 36 minutes and 36 seconds, good for the second-fastest time ever recorded around the trail. The trail in 2019 is a full seven miles longer than it used to be (as it was originally created at 165 miles), so I believe I set the fastest time on the most updated version of the trail! When I set out to run this trail, I knew that GPS watch battery was going to potentially be an issue, since I didn’t have a watch remotely capable of recording for that long. Enter the Coros Vertix.
This is, without question, the best watch I’ve ever owned. Here are the primary reasons why: user interface and watch setup; ease of uploading and connecting to third-party apps; and of course, battery-life. First, the user interface and setup. When the watch arrived in the box, it had very few settings options to navigate. It wasn’t until you download the app and sync your watch to it that the real fun begins. At that time, through the “Custom Interface” of the app, you can set up multiple screens on the watch to utilize whatever data you want to see! For me, I chose a six-slot design for the primary screen. The six items I chose were Distance, Lap Pace (pace for that individual mile), Pace (current speed at any moment), Total Ascent, Elevation and Time. And that was just for the first screen! You can spin the dial on the side of the watch to switch between other screens, all of which are customizable. Pretty rad. Second, the ease of uploading and connectivity to other apps. I am a big fan of the fact that anytime you record an activity on the Coros Vertix, it uploads to the app super quickly. So, as an avid user of Strava, it’s nice to know that I will have my activities posted in no time. Lastly, the battery life. What more is there to say? The Vertix is good for up to 60 hours in full GPS mode! Insane. When I ran around the Tahoe Rim Trail, I was out there for over 45 hours, and still had close to 10% battery life when I finished. I’m thrilled to know that every 100-miler I run in the future will be more than covered by the battery life, and I will no longer need to worry about swapping out watches during a race!
A few other positives to note. The watch is quite quick to pick-up GPS outdoors, something that has occasionally caused me frustration in the past. It also has a wrist heart-rate sensor, something I’ve never had before in a watch. I don’t worry too much about HR data personally, but it’s still a nice feature for sure. I also like that there are so many activity functions, ranging from “Run” and “Bike” all the way to “Gym Cardio” and “Mtn Climb.” While I have yet to use many of those functions, I’m stoked to have them!
Lastly, I only have two comments in the way of improvement. First, when you set up the interface of the watch, you get to choose a “Watch Face Setting.” I found one that I really like, but I do wish there were some more options to choose from in case I want to mix it up more often. Or, perhaps there could be a way for users to customize that outside of the pre-chosen options. The other thing is that the back of my wrist will sometimes touch the dial and send me to a different screen. It happens infrequently, but it does occasionally happen. In that case, I just have to turn the dial back to the home screen where I want to be.
When it comes right down it, I LOVE this watch. I’m a relatively simple user of GPS watches, so battery life, easy interface, and simple navigation of the tools are my top priorities. With the Coros Vertix, you get all of that and so much more!