I've been a runner on and off for the past 15 years or so. Sometimes I love it sometimes I hate it but it's the most efficent, cheapest way to get in shape and lose weight and this year it did a lot for my mental health.
But I'm not going to lie it can be boring and it can be hard and sometimes it's easier to just walk. I've found something that has changed the way I run. I introduce to you the Nike+ Sensor.
Now I'm a Nike girl. I like to say I'm sponsored by them except for that I pay them to wear their stuff. I don't know why I like it except it looks good, is quality, works for my feet, and I like that it's American (not made in America but you know an American brand).
The Nike Sensor sells for about 30 dollars. You of course have to have a Nike shoe with the space for it under the insole and of course need an Ipod or Iphone (4 or 4S). This little item will tell you how far you are going, how fast you are going and my favorite how many calories you are burning (never as much as you think but still). When you get home you plug it into your computer and wala-your run is recorded.
This has helped me to run faster and further than ever before, because anyone who knows me knows I'm a data freak and I'm driven by the voice in my headphones and the graph on my computer...there's no cheating -don't even try.
So for the runner on your list I offer you the Nike + sensor and all the accessories that go with it.