So it has come as a complete surprise that I've fathered two children that are actually decent at the sport. My daughter is on the varsity in both track and cross country, and my son is in his first year of cross country as a 6th grader in middle school. They are so much faster than me that I'm questioning their birth certificates.
One thing I have on them is age and wisdom (some at least.) The sport of cross country running is such that pace is key component. Knowing what your pace per mile is becomes very important.
To that end, I started researching watches that could provide this data. Originally I was thinking that a watch with a good stopwatch/chronograph would work. But as I researched the subject some more, I found that GPS watches had come a long way. They are now accurate, small and affordable.
A search of ebay listed a number of them including watches by Garmin, Tom Tom, Timex, Suunto, Polar, and others. The watch I ended up going with was the Nike GPS watch made by Tom Tom. I got it for a very reasonable $40 used. It's not the smallest watch and it doesn't have a feature that the Garmin Forerunners have, which is virtual partner, allowing you to keep pace with your previous runs. But it tracks your time, distance, pace, heart rate (with optional sensor), and calories burned. You can then see your mapped route with pace data & changes in elevation on the Nikeplus.com site.
The watch comes with rechargeable lithium polymer battery, which charges via USB, giving the watch eight hours of run time with the GPS and sensor both turned on. Without those turn on, it provides up to 50 days of standby power.
I bought it as a reward for my daughter in making the varsity xc squad. I thought she'd be thrilled. Instead she declined to wear it because, "No one else on the team wears one." Isn't that exactly what you'd expect out of a 15 year-old's mouth? Nevermind that it could help her training immensely. Some day (when she's over 30) she'll appreciate what her old dad was trying to do for her. On the plus side, I've got a nifty toy that shows me how incredibly slow I am at a moment's notice.