Options? Not many. I might suggest a non-watch-style altimeter that clips to your clothing or slips into a key pocket on your running shorts. That would be something such as Highgear's AltiTech II ($150; www.highgear.com), which is an excellent watch and altimeter but trades off a little bulk for an easy-read display and a relatively low price. A somewhat similar item is the Brunton Nomad V2 ($119), which is designed to be carried on a lanyard around your neck or otherwise attached to your person.
So there are some solutions for you. I certainly understand that when you want to keep track of elevation and other things, you want it in the most convenient manner, and wrist-mounted devices fulfill that admirably. If you do have regular trails you run, one trip could be used to determine the elevation gained and loss, and then you could simply build your runs around that known informationforegoing a watch entirely.
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Filed To: Sport Watches