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September 12th, 2007

Garmin has this week announced the launch of Forerunner 50 – a sleek, affordable gadget with intelligent technology to help runners and walkers track their workouts, automatically store their data and help them reach their personal fitness goals.

forerunner.BMPThe unit is expected to be in the shops in October and as Product Manager, Andrew Silver says “A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to come at a great sacrifice of time and money. The Forerunner 50 provides runners, walkers and cyclists with a cost-effective training tool that is compact and convenient. Whether you’re training diligently for a race or taking a leisurely stroll, the Forerunner 50 helps you get the most out of your time spent exercising.”

The central element of the Forerunner 50 system is an advanced fitness watch which interfaces wirelessly with other fitness devices such as a heart rate monitor or a foot pod that monitors speed and distance.

The system includes a wireless ANT™ USB stick that plugs into the user’s PC and automatically downloads workout data stored on the watch to a personal computer. No cables are necessary as the Forerunner 50 synchronises with the computer once it is in close proximity.

Depending on the model purchased, the Forerunner 50 accurately monitors and records heart rate or speed and distance or all of the above. The workouts themselves are made easier with the Forerunner 50 as its heart rate monitor and foot pod activate automatically upon movement, removing the need to turn the lightweight accessories on and off.

The Forerunner 50 is extremely easy to use yet packed with useful features. It processes much of the same data as its GPS-enabled predecessors; those functions are packaged in a very compact device the size of a typical fitness watch.

The Forerunner 50 can track and record up to seven hours and 100 laps of detailed exercise data. As the Forerunner 50 records its data from the heart rate monitor and foot pod, users can exercise indoors — for example, accurately monitoring their heart rate while on a treadmill or tracking how far they walk each day in the office. The foot pod enables the Forerunner 50 to track and record speed, distance, cadence, steps and calories burned.

Cycling enthusiasts will also enjoy the versatile options of adding a bike speed and cadence sensor and a handy bike mount.

The Forerunner 50 and ANT USB stick with Heart Rate Monitor has an estimated retail price of £69/€119.

The Forerunner 50 and ANT USB stick with Foot Pod has an estimated retail price of £99/€149 .

The Forerunner 50 and ANT USB stick with Foot Pod and Heart Rate Monitor has an estimated retail price of £119/€199.

All the above units are expected to be available in October and come with an owner’s manual and quick reference guide.

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