The Garmin Enduro 2 has an unusual feature hidden up its (or, more accurately, your) sleeve: a built-in flashlight. It's extremely handy for everyday situations when you need a little illumination – just press the backlight button twice in quick succession for a surprisingly bright beam that shines from the top of the watch's housing to light up keyholes, dark corners, your sleeping bag zipper, and anything else hidden in the gloom.
However, it's advertised as doing a lot more than that, and Garmin claims it can help you "find your finish line". That's a bold claim, and I knew exactly the place to test it.
Although fall is drawing close in the UK, and days are getting shorter, it'll be quite a while before I'm doing my regular training runs in the dark. I don't need to wait for daylight savings to end, though, as the Two Tunnels Greenway (opens in new tab) provides well over a mile of smooth, almost flat running where the sun don't shine.
The Greenway follows the route of an old railway line, including (as the name suggests) two tunnels. The first of these is relatively short, but the second is well over a mile. Both do contain lights, but the brightness has been turned down since the route first opened a few years ago to avoid disturbing wildlife including glow worms and bats.
The longer tunnel also features colored lights in the central portion that pulse when they detect motion and play fragments of music, but those are purely fun and decorative. In other words, it's pretty dark.
The path is a shared use route for pedestrians and cyclists, and is a local favorite with runners thanks to its smooth, almost flat surface. Sticking to the left-hand side means you should be pretty much safe, but it's sometimes tricky to see exactly where the edge is, and cyclists don't always use lights, so it's always best to use your own when heading out.
Strapping on your best headtorch risks dazzling people travelling on the other direction, but the Enduro 2's flashlight seemed perfect for the task, so this weekend I strapped it on and headed into the dark.
Go with the glow
The Enduro 2 has several different lighting modes for activities, which you can set by holding the watch's menu button, selecting 'Activities and apps', then choosing your preferred workout type. For running, you can choose from blink, pulse, beacon, blitz, or cadence (which blinks in time with your stride).
I mostly wanted to be able to see the edge of the footpath, so I chose to keep it on a steady, bright white light. In case that wasn't enough to make me visible to other Greenway users, I also clipped my cheap and cheerful Ronhill Light Clip (opens in new tab) onto my backpack strap.
And it worked perfectly. The light didn't give a clear view ahead, as you'd expect considering it's shining down from the watch's bezel, but it was ideal for illuminating the edge of the path so I didn't stray into the gravel border that prevents walkers, runners and riders getting too close to the tunnel wall (an easy way to stumble).
In future, I can see it being extremely handy used in tandem with a headlamp for night walks and runs, with the lamp showing the road ahead and the watch highlighting the curb in your peripheral vision. It's a bright idea.
- Best GPS watches: find your ideal training tool
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
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