Do people genuinely use these?? And is that legal?
Yes and yes. But GPS watches are forbidden...
Owning an altimeter already makes you the biggest bell-end in the world, so using it in a mountain marathon can't really make the situation any worse
I'd never used one before and am not that keen on them. However, there's nothing in the rules stating they can't be used and it did come in handy on contouring legs/finding a tiny stream on a featureless hillside.
There were no height intervals on the map this year to make altimeter use more difficult - if you can't do basic maths.
They never used to be (not that there were ever any checks) so I don't carry mine - battery wouldn't last 2 days anyway.
GPSs are much more use on a MM where you're moving slower/longer so it's worth the time investment, and distance judgement is key.
And the planners use them to hang the controls, rather than looking at the map.
Congrats, by the way! Amazing stuff, hope the toes don't fall off.
Rue 9: "GPS devices (including mobile phones) may be carried throughout the event but must not be used for navigation"