Gear Transformative Apple Watch 9 and AirPod Review from a non-tech Marathon Runner

Transformative Apple Watch 9 and AirPod Review from a non-tech Marathon Runner


The ease in which I downloaded songs from iTunes to my watch to my AirPods and had the entire operation work beautifully at last Sunday’s Toronto Waterfront Marathon blew my mind. Equally as eye opening, however, was how valuable these products were to the loved ones in my life. In my job, sometimes I’m able to review products, which line up mostly ignored around our home.

Not the case with Apple. Even my dad in Austin set his sights on the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch 9.

How come?

Some of it is certainly the power of branding.

Steve Jobs and Tim Cook and iPhones and Apple everything isn’t only sleek and powerful, but objects to be coveted, status symbols, like numbers of followers on Instagram. I’m not even certain if I want my 12-year-old showing off a fly Apple watch in seventh grade. Maybe what it says about our family isn’t awesome. As super shoes are to conscientious, competitive racers, especially Nike, who Apple partnered with on their watch, the new AirPod Pro-Apple watch series 9 structure is the same for music loving runners, viewed as the very best of the best.

Gotta say, as a tech-averse runner who doesn’t use Strava and hasn’t upgraded his systems since 2005, I agree.

The Apple Watch 9, part of the series of the world’s best selling smart watches, is easy to see, big, bright, light and easy to use. The screen is clear and colourful and the numbers are massive and it looks cool, of course. I was petrified, during my marathon—my goal race!—of not being able to get the AirPods Pro in my ears on the run and, if I did, that they’d somehow fall out. I worried they’d lose their charge in my pocket and I worried, because it’s happened before, that all of these worries would make me freak out, push every button at once, and disassemble the whole operation.

None of that happened. The things worked beautifully (see above, me finishing my race). It was easy to download new songs to the watch from iTunes—something that stopped working on my iPod—and not only did the watch keep track of my distance and pace, but I could toggle—on the run, exhausted—between my running screen and my music screen, making it simple to replay my Traveling Wilburys songs. I could easily rearrange the order of my playlist and in no time flat, get any song I wanted playing in my ear. Amazing! 

There’s background information on the Apple Watch Series 9.

It’s made from aluminum, carbon-neutral, a first for Apple, which is important given how much people love these things. It has Apple’s most powerful chip, giving it an 18-hour battery life, and a double-tap gesture, so you can activate watch functions on one hand, just by flicking your wrist and fingers (see below). It’s hard not to feel like the coolest person in the world when doing these things—even if I judge people walking around always in AirPods, as if you can’t walk your kid to school without hearing a podcast.

Still, if you’re new to the game and experiencing paying for tacos with your watch for the first time, it’s hard not to understand the fuss. So much power in one small screen.

My 12-year-old changed the home screen ten times, and figured out how to make Snoopy dance, which also thrilled my 9-year-old. I recognized their delight in the product myself when I used it at the gym and the AirPods didn’t fall out on the sit-up machine. Can you believe that? Completely inverted, the AirPods remained harmonizing Roy Orbison and Tom Petty in my ears. (I would’ve told the person working out beside me how impressed I was, but he had his own AirPods in).

The Apple Watch Ultra 2, meanwhile, another new fall entry, is durable and rugged, and has all sorts of underwater capabilities, and also a homing devices for your iPhone 15. Some of this obviously makes me nervous. You need the watch to connect with the AirPods and then iTunes and the iPhone and eventually you have Apple everything, and the company marches on to its nearly $3-trillion market cap.

We’re a long way from running through the forests with no shoes.

Still, there’s a reason this stuff is so popular and coveted by everyone from nine to 75-year-olds. It really truly looks beautiful and it’s easy to work, even for someone with zero dexterity, nor love for, tech tools.

The Apple Watch Series 9 has transformed my approach to listening to music while running—it’s improved it, vastly—and thus it’s improved my life. It’s reassuring that the company is committing to complete carbon neutrality across their entire business line by 2030—because it’s impossible to argue that it’s not the best stuff in the world.