#Winning! Triathlon Ireland Awards 2014

The Triathlon Ireland end of year awards evening were on last night (Nov 1st). A chance for Irish age-groupers and pro’s to get together, let the hair down and have one night off to celebrate the end of the season and have a good old knees up before winter training begins for 2015 season!

I was delighted to get notification a couple of weeks ago that there would be a bronze medal waiting for me on the night, for 3rd place overall in the 30-34 year old age-group from the Duathlon National Series rankings. This year was the first year that Triathlon Ireland introduced a National Duathlon Series and it was something that was long overdue! The range of duathlon events in Ireland is growing year on year and given that we have some seriously talented run/bike/run athletes (who might not happen to be the greatest swimmers, myself included!) it is only fair that we get to have our own age-group titles to race for over a (mini)season.

Read the Triathlon Ireland report on the big winners from the night

Check out some snaps of the night courtesy of Martin Jancek

More on Twitter and Instagram!

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My 2014 Race Schedule

Now that the off-season is well over it’s time to put a plan of action together for the duathlon/triathlon season and get it right to peak for those all important ‘A’ races. There are nearly 20 races I have penciled in for myself from February to September – Duathlons, Triathlons, Half Marathons, 10 Mile, and hopefully 1 or 2 shorter 5-10km road races along the way.

That may seem like a hell of a lot of races but compared to last year its actually down! I know the ideal season should be less cluttered with probably half as many races, but, to quote another duathlete age-grouper’s blog, I get a buzz out of racing, and that’s the reason I train. Train to race, not train to train“. I just love the buzz of getting out to race and if it means losing a number of weekends of perfect long distance training, I’d happily sacrifice it to keep my adrenaline levels regularly topped up!

The vast majority of the races below are ‘C’ or ‘B’ races, with the season focusing on 3 ‘A’ races – The National Duathlon Championship (April), The National Olympic Championship (June), and the Budapest Ironman 70.3 (August) – 3 peaks in 1 season, can it be done? Do I even know how to have 1 peak?! It will definitely be a new type of season for me and one which will be a massive learning process, as I am going ‘long’ for the first time ever meaning short distance speed will suffer, but as I am also trying to have my best Sprint/Olympic season for the National Series it’s going to be a bit of a mix and match training schedule!

2014 SEASON GOALS
It is always important to set yourself goals though and for 2014 its;

  • GO LONG! Take on the 70.3 distance for the first time and try get my target race time. Budapest Ironman 70.3 will be the main race for the year and everything builds towards this. I won’t say my target time yet for fear of jinxing it but I’ll go into it in further detail in a post dedicated to my preparations for this one race
  • Target the Triathlon Ireland National Series (NS) races and improve my overall position from 63rd last year to sub 60th. I’m moving into a new age category this year, 30-34 year old, tougher than the 25-29 I enjoyed for the last 2 years, so the goal is to finish inside the top 15 here.
  • PB’s in 10k (sub 35min), 10mile (sub 58:30min) and Half Marathon (sub 80min)
  • Train smarter across all 3 disciplines, have a more focused and efficient race strategy and keep the body free from injuries (lost total of 5 weeks during the racing season last year with illness, and hip, leg and back trouble!)

2014 RACE SCHEDULE
[*NS = Triathlon Ireland National Series Races]

FEBRUARY
Fingal Duathlon / 1st Feb = C Race

MARCH
Kilkenny Duathlon / 2nd March = C Race
Ballycotton 10 Mile / 9th March = B Race (aiming for 10 Mile PB)
Fingal Duathlon / 15th March = C Race
Naas Duathlon / 23rd March = C Race

APRIL
National Duathlon Championships / 5th April = A RACE
Race TBC

MAY
Stoneyford 10k / 10th May = C Race (TBC)
TriAthy Olympic Tri (NS) / 31st May = B Race

JUNE
Phoenix Park Duathlon / 4th June = C Race
Mullaghmore Sprint Tri (NS) / 14th June = B Race
Hell of the West Olympic Tri (National Champs) (NS) / 28th June = A RACE

JULY
TriAthlone Sprint Tri (NS) / 5th July = B Race
Phoenix Park Duathlon / 9th July = C Race
Two Provinces Tri (NS) / 12th July = B Race
Half Marathon, TBC = C Race

AUGUST
Phoenix Park Duathlon / 6th August = C Race
Caroline Kearney Olympic Tri (NS) / 9th August = B Race
Ironman 70.3 Budapest / 23rd August = A RACE

SEPTEMBER
Blacksod or Belfast Olympic Tri (NS) / 7th or 13th September = B Race
Only doing one of the above races if require additional NS Points!

The main reason for writing all this down was so people see it and then I’ll have to stick to it. However, all above are liable to change depending on my humour…. 😉

Some more 10k Ray posts you may enjoy –
– Yummy Cheao Homemade Protein Bars
– Let’s Go Country! Online Articles on Cross Country Running
– Triathlon Ireland National Series 2013 Wrap Up
– World Triathlon Championships Race Report

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Instagram – http://instagram.com/10k_ray

Triathlon Ireland National Series Race Calendar 2014

The list of races that comprise the 2014 Vodafone Triathlon Ireland National series has just been released this week! The most notable change is the diminished number of races (7 Sprint and 6 Olympic, with the 2 Middle distance), which Triathlon Ireland hopes will promote a bit more head-to-head in each race and also keep entrant numbers per race a bit more even, meaning there should be less tactics in race selection by triathletes trying to get the most points possible for the year. Hopefully this shall ring true for the coming season!

The Sprint races offer a great spread across the country, covering every province and the addition of a new race to calendar, the 3D Tri Sprint pool-based tri in the National Aquatic Centre. The Sprint Championship is being held at the Crooked Lake Tri in Armagh, one which got great praise by racers last year. Check out the cool video taken at the 2013 race by clicking here.

  • Sprint Distance

18th May: 3DTri Sprint Triathlon [Pool] (National Aquatic Centre, Dublin)
7th June: Crooked Lake Triathlon (Camlough, Armagh)
14th June: GloHealth Mullaghmore Triathlon (Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo)
21st June: Hook or By Crook (Dunmore East, Waterford)
5th July: Waterways Ireland TriAthlone (Athlone Town)
12th July: Two Provinces Triathlon (Lanesboro, Co. Longford))
26th July: King of the Hill (Kinsale, Co. Cork)

The Olympic races favour the Westerly side of the country for 2014, with Galway, Clare and Mayo hosting 3 of the 6 races. After 2 years hosting, it is sad to see Dublin City Triathlon not get the National Olympic Championship again, however it gives me the chance to journey to the Hell of the West, a race I have yet to experience. It is also great to see the 1 year old Belfast Triathlon getting NS status.

  • Standard / Olympic Distance

25th May: The Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon (Gort, Co. Galway)
31st May: TriAthy Olympic (Athy Town) 28th June: Hell of the West (Kilkee, Clare)
9th August: Caroline Kearney Memorial Triathlon (Lough Ennel, Westmeath)
24th August: Dublin City Triathlon (Dublin City)
7th September: Belfast Titanic Triathlon (Belfast City)
13th September: Blacksod Point Challenge (Belmullet, Co. Mayo)

  • Middle Distance

17th August: Half Ireman (Bangor, Co. Down)
30th August: The Lost Sheep (Kenmare, Co. Cork)

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES 

  • National Triathlon Championships

National Sprint Distance Championship: 7th June, Crooked Lake
National Standard Distance Championship: 28th June, Hell of the West
National Middle Distance Championship: 30th August, The Lost Sheep

  • National Duathlon Championship

5th April: Fingal Race Series – Duathlon 3 (County Dublin)

  • National Aquathlon Championship

19th July: Galway Aquathlon [long distance] (Galway City)

  • National Paratriathlon Championship

5th July: Waterways Ireland TriAthlone Paratriathlon (Athlone Town)

  • Childrens National Championships

Triathlon: 3rd August: Predator Junior National Championships (Loughrea, Co. Galway)
Aquathlon19th July:  Galway Aquathlon (Galway City)

Please click here for the full list of all Triathlon Ireland authorised races for 2014

And click here for a Google map of Ireland with all the National Series races pinned on!

Some more 10k Ray posts you may enjoy –
– Pain and Rain – Race Report from 1st Cross Country race of season
– Let’s Go Country! Online Articles on Cross Country Running
– Triathlon Ireland National Series 2013 Wrap Up
– World Triathlon Championships Race Report

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10k Ray National Series 2013 Wrap Up

national series logo 10k Ray

WRAP UP OF 2013
It was a long hot Summer…but I’m glad the constant fatigue of racing triathlons nearly every weekend is over and I get to reflect back on the season that was, along with also getting back into having a normal social life! 🙂

This was the first season where I actually put a plan together, in terms of what races to target and how to structure my training. It wasn’t a perfect season by any stretch of the imagination but I was happy to see certain things go certain ways and also see a clear increase in performances as the season progressed. Lots of training is great of course but structure and how you move through an entire season is more important and with everything I experienced this season in trying to get it right I can’t wait to get into the 2014 season and hone it even more!

EXCUSES ARE SUCH A GREAT THING!
10k ray triathlon blog - yearly wrap up - excuses picThere were some set backs and changes I would have made to my National Series plan looking at how results went overall. Such as missing out on the Valentia Sprint after it was turned into a duathlon, missing a massive field and opportunity for points at the TriAthy Olympic due to bad back spasms coming from over-training (collapsing at a track race and not being able to move for 4 hours is bad right?) and not realising that Lough Key was hosting such a large field of 500+ racers, where again great points were on offer. Also, I left it until my last 2 events to race my first Olympic distance triathlon and ended up doing 2 within 6 days, with the fatigue from the first one definitely feeding into the second one. I’ll be a little bit cuter and quicker off the mark with planning and booking in my races next season…and also try not to collapse from training again 🙂

There is also the can of worms of how Triathlon Ireland actually work the National Series and how points are allocated, but that would need a blog post just for itself!!! 🙂

HAPPY OVERALL?
My basic aim for the season was to improve on last years position and points, which I managed to do so and with some change left over, getting 543.785 NS points compared to 511.265 in 2012, dropping from 141st overall and 23rd in my age category to 63rd overall and 12th in my age category. All in all I was happy enough with my place in the rankings, considering the massive increase in racers, the far higher levels of competition, the fact I missed 3 big points scoring events and that I pretty much completely suck at one of the disciplines…swimming!!!

2013 NATIONAL SERIES RESULTS
National Series Points – 543.785 points
Overall Irish Ranking – 63rd
25-29 Year Old Age-group Ranking – 12th
Club Championships – Kilkenny Tri Club – 9th (top 6 male athletes)

1/ Mourne Olympic Triathlon – 110.84 points
Time – 02:17:46 / Overall Position – 24th
Age-Group Position – 4th 25-29
10k Ray Race Report – Click here

2/ Loughrea Sprint Triathlon – 109.316 points
Time – 01:07:59 / Overall Position – 30th
Age-Group Position – 4th
10k Ray Race Report – Click here

3/ Triathlone Sprint – 108.814 points
Time – 01:09:35 / Overall Position – 61st
Age-Group Position – 8th
10k Ray Race Report – Click here

4/ Two Provinces Sprint Triathlon – 108.092 points
Time – 01:06:43 / Overall Position – 40th
Age-Group Position – 7th
10k Ray Race Report – Click here

5/ Dublin City Olympic Triathlon – 106.66 points
Time – 02:17:07 / Overall Position – 38th
Age-Group Position – 6th
10k Ray Race Report – Click here

North Tipp Sprint Triathlon – 100.635 points (not counting)
Time – 01:13:26 / Overall Position – 63rd
Age-Group Position – 8th

Full results of all athletes in the National Series can be found here
Full results of National Series Club Championship can be found here

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Kilkenny Triathlon Club Men to take on the World!

Just a quick post to wish the absolute best of luck to my fellow Kilkenny Triathlon Club members joining me over in England next week to take on the best in the world at the World Triathlon Championships!!

The 5 men below are the best Kilkenny Triathlon Club has to offer across the different age groups and we will compete across the Sprint and Olympic World Championship races. The Irish flag will be proudly carried over the line by each one of us 🙂 There is another Kilkenny man racing, Jason Pierce, who races for Cork Triathlon Club and I wish him the best of luck too! Go on the Cats!!! 🙂

In the picture below from left to right – 
Eddie O’Keefe, Olympic Race, 30-34 Age Group
Eoin Molloy, Sprint Race, 35-39 Age Group
Alan Rhatigan, Olympic Race, 30-34 Age Group
Ray Lonergan (myself), Sprint Race, 25-29 Age Group
John Molloy, Sprint Race, 70-75 Age Group

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Instagram – http://instagram.com/10k_ray

“Taming the Northern Beast” – Race Report from Mourne Olympic Triathlon

Early, early, early start for this race with the long drive from Kilkenny to Castlewellan, County Down ahead. 5am alarm call and 5.30am on the road. Why do we do this to ourselves? However, as you got towards the Mourne Mountains and drove into the race location it was clear it was worth the effort. Absolutely beautiful setting in a wonderful part of the country. Always find that a great race setting is a fool proof way to get yourself straight into the right mind set. Check out the stunning view below that greeted us for the swim 🙂

This was great race organisation by Olympian Triathlon Club, with the car park, registration, transition, swim start and finish line all within 200metres of each other. It was a very bright but also very windy, chilly start to the day and looking at the lake, and the waves that repeatedly crashed up and down, it didn’t appear too attractive or warm! At race briefing we were told that the 2 waves would be merged into one. I immediately thought this wasn’t the best thing to do and looking back at the number of people on the swim and bike legs at the one time I think leaving it as two would have been the safer option.

SWIM 1.5km Lake Swim / 00:25:05
The lake actually ended up being a perfect temperature for racing and far warmer than when standing around waiting to get in! The choppy waves stayed put though and the decision to turn it into a 400 person mass start meant this would be a very interesting swim. What a way to try out my brand new 2XU E:3 wetsuit for the very first time in open water! A cheeky hooter went off without any warning catching me off guard cleaning my goggles while the madness started. And so began the trash-fest to the 2nd buoy at 700metres, with many, many punches to the head. In fairness, I gave as good as I got 🙂 There was some clean water once turned at the buoys but this was actually to my detriment as it meant relying on my own race line rather than the feet of those right in front of me. 25mins of dealing with sea like waves and a criss-cross route, I was out and towards transition.

 

BIKE 40km (20km Out and Back x2) / 01:12:51
Tough, tough, tough cycle! The minute you left T1 and got out onto the main road it was a stiff headwind right into your face, everyone looked like they were seriously hurting. Hills and more hills on the way out were made even worse with the horrible realisation that you had to do this twice 😦 There was an awful collision right in front of my eyes about halfway out the first 10km involving 5 cyclists where 3 going one direction crashed with 2 going the other way on the other side of the road. It looked a very serious incident but luckily the ambulance were on hand very quickly to look after the guys. I haven’t seen or heard anything about it since but wish the guys a speedy recovery.

It was an experience to see Bryan McCrystal in full flight, who came from a few minutes down on the swim leader to tear through the bike course and set a time I didn’t think was even possible. As I hit the turnarounds I tried to count my position, down from 100+ after swim to inside the top 50 after the bike. 72mins and change for the 40km and now time to do my thing on the run leg 🙂

RUN 10km Forest Trail Run (2x 5km loop) / 00:37:54
I saw Anna Crooks a few spots ahead of me towards the end of the bike leg and tore through T2 like a lightening bolt to get out onto the run course just behind her. Every race I do with her in it she ‘chicks’ me. “Not this time” I kept telling myself. She is having an awesome season and has crushed me in the National Series rankings so getting the better of her at least once this year will be one of my highlights 🙂

I love the slightly off-road run course, quick light cadence and careful foot position with all the loose stones was the order of the day. There is an absolute bastard of a hill on both loops which seemed to completely suck the life out of everyone. However, it was almost the exact same length and incline as the hill on my training route in Jenkinstown Forest, “Bring it on”!!!!

The first run lap offered the chance to appraise overall position and see how you were moving through the field, but the 2nd lap meant no chance of this as you met all the traffic from those doing both the 1st and 2nd lap. I just tried keeping the cadence high, back straight, chest out, arms relaxed and heart rate under control and see where a decent 2nd lap gets me in the overall rankings. I had estimated around 35th place but delighted to find out afterwards it was actually 24th, Happy Days!

RACE BREAKDOWN
1.5km Swim – 00:25:05 (105th out of 342)
T1 – 00:01:29 (9th out of 342)
40km Bike – 01:12:51 (26th out of 342)
T2 – 00:01:04 (4th out of 342)
10km Run – 00:37:54 (8th out of 342)
TOTAL – 02:17:46
24th place overall / 4th 25-29 year old

I was delighted for the two Kilkenny Triathlon Club girls who travelled up North, Irene Henebry and Una Byrne, who smashed the course with both breaking the 3 hour barrier and it was great to see how much this meant for them, especially over such a beast of a course. Eoin Molloy (driver for the day) put in another great performance taking 18th overall and should hopefully have cemented his place inside the top 20 in the National Series rankings.

For the photo gallery of the event (James Shelley) please click here
Full results available here 

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12 Weeks to London…Week 10 (26th August-1st September)

10k Ray Triathlon Blog

WEEK 10 = 26th August – 1st September

MON
PM. Run – 12.5km/60min Steady State

TUES
PM. Brick – 30km/60min Bike Steady State followed by 2km/10min Easy Run

WED
AM. Swim – 1.7km/45min Sets
PM. Run – 12km/60min Interval with 5x 1km at race pace

THURS
AM. Swim – 1.2km/30min Sets (50metre Max effort repeats)
PM. Bike – 30km/60min Interval with 7x 2min Max Race Effort

FRI
AM. Run – 4km/20min Easy run with 4x 100m Strides

SAT
A.M. RACE Mourne Olympic Triathlon
1.5km/25min Swim – 40km/72min Bike – 10km/38 Run

SUN
AM. Bike – 35km/70min Steady

Total Swim – 4.5km / 2hr
Total Bike – 135km / 4hr 30min
Total Run – 40km / 3hr 10min

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From 217th to 38th…My Story at Dublin City Olympic Triathlon!

dublin city triathlon 10k ray blog race report 2013

The day before the Dublin City Triathlon (DCT) I was in support role for the girlfriend down in Castleconnell, Limerick at the Worlds End Triathlon where she was racing her 3rd ever race in the try-a-tri. I have never gone to a race as a spectator before and it was pure torture!! All I wanted to do was get out there and take on the course! All in all it looked like a great race and very well organised. Congrats to Stephen Early as well for completely bossing it and winning by nearly 3mins. If the race picks up a NS ranking next year I will definitely be making the trip back, but this time to race 🙂 Went to Bunratty Castle afterwards to celebrate and enjoyed the perfect DCT pre-race meal with the Medieval Banquet – Beer, Wine, Mead, Soup, Ribs, Chicken and cake – what more would you want before taking on DCT!!!

bunratty castle medieval banquet 10k ray

A beauty of a day greeted racers rolling down towards the Garda Boat Club for registration and transition set up. Dry and not overly warm. Registration was a speedy affair, taking about 90secs, giving me just about enough time to try get through the goody bag…This was mega. Easily your entry fee returned in great items you would actually use – Amphibia dry mat, very decent long sleeved running top, headphones, chocy bars, loads of nutrition. Top marks for all the freebies 🙂

Dublin City Triathlon set up

As always the guys and girls at Piranha Triathlon Club put on a phenomenal show and the buzz pre-race was electric. I’ve said it for the past 2 years since I started doing this race that it is the best organised race in Ireland and they went even bigger and better this year. Kudos to Piranha and also to Vodafone for clearly putting some weight and funding behind it. Let’s hope other events outside of Dublin can get this kind of support in the future.

It was also a joy to get to pit oneself against Irish Olympian Gavin Noble. Gavin has been a great force on the Irish scene all this season after basing himself back home for 2013. Some racers have whinged saying that having a pro in the field is not fair on amateurs looking to win a National title but it is nothing but a positive to have Gavin in the field and those amateurs vying for top spot would also want to know they have done it against the very best Ireland has to offer.

Onto race performance…

1.5km SWIM / 00:29:36
For the first 500metres there was absolutely no room, complete washing machine feeling, but I was still happy to be dragged along on the large gangs feet. I lost touch before hitting the turnaround and found myself going way off line and losing loads of time here. I think my dodgy shoulder has a habit of leading me a bit out to the right for some reason! I had a little bit of sick out my mouth with around 100m from the finish but didn’t mind at all as I was just delighted to be getting out of the Liffey in one piece!!! I got my aim of breaking 30minutes (by just 25 secs) but at the end of the day I still gave up 5-10mins to almost everyone ahead of me in the overall standings and started into the bike leg in 217th position 😦 Long winter in the pool ahead of me…

10k ray dublin city triathlon swim(Image courtesy of Pixel Promotions)

40km BIKE / 01:07:15
I love this bike course, the more technical the better, sorta levels the playing field between me and the big gear munchers who usually run away with it on other course with long flat out and back routes! It also helps it was the perfect practice for the World Champs in London as well with all the twists, turns and switchbacks, roughly counting about 40 notable turns over the entire course. Strategy here was key and it is basically 5 laps of knowing when and where to turn on the power given the constant and quick changes in flatness, twists, uphills and downhills, and also not forgetting the wind. I pushed hard at the start to move through the field and opted for a high cadence option on the hills, sit up, spin as much as possible and rest the legs to power through the flats and absolutely hammer the downhill section. As the hills came around on each lap I found it easier to get away from close competition by spinning and was delighted with sub 68mins for 40k over a very testing course. Nutrition strategy was two High5 gels, first one after lap 1 and second one after lap 4. Combined with a full 600mills of water/High5 energy powder I was pumped leaving T2 and ready for the run!

10k Ray Dublin City Triathlon bike(Image courtesy of Pixel Promotions)

RUN 10km / 00:37:46
Spent the swim and bike waiting for this, I don’t call myself ’10k Ray’ for nothing 😉 After spending my Winter season at cross country racing I knew this would play into my hands, with the majority of the run being off road, very lumpy and hills to deal with. Strategy was to maintain a steady effort for the first 3km, settle in to a nice pace and then give it everything for the last 5k. Over the line in under 38minutes, “Happy Days”!!! Apologies to Piranha member Sharon McGuire for collapsing over the line onto you, just send me on the dry cleaning bill after covering you in my sweat!!!

This is such a great race, course and field and combined with fantastic organisation it is definitely Ireland’s top race. The free ice cream at the finish line really is the icing on a pretty great cake 🙂 I hope it goes even bigger and better next year and my only tip to other racers is to enter 2014 early to make sure you get your spot on the start line!!! P.S. please bring back the Fan Zone next year, Tour de France eat your heart out 🙂

10k Ray Dublin City Triathlon run(Image courtesy of Pixel Promotions)

RACE BREAKDOWN
1.5km Swim – 00:29:35 (217th out of 482)
T1 – 00:01:17 (20th out of 421)
40km Bike – 01:07:15 (38th out of 482)
T2 – 00:01:15 (92nd out of 421)
10km Run – 00:37:46 (12th out of 482)
TOTAL – 02:17:07
38th place overall / 6th 25-29 year old

versus 2012

1.5km Swim – 00:33:30
T1 – 00:02:11
40km Bike – 01:13:43
T2 – 00:01:34
10km Run – 00:41:34
TOTAL – 02:32:30
88th place overall from 389 / 13th 25-29 year old

The one thing I can say looking at last years results is that the standard of triathlon in Ireland has absolutely exploded over the last 12 months. There are now 10-20 brilliant athletes out there who could win any week and to put things in perspective, my 2013 time at DCT, which had me 38th this year, would have had me in 17th position in 2012!!! And for the record, Gavin Noble was the only athlete to go sub-2 hours coming in under 1hr 58mins…WOW!

Full results from the day available here

Range of photos from Triathlon Ireland photographers available here and here

Next up is my final National Series race for 2013, The Mourne Olympic Triathlon up North in Castlewellan on Saturday 31st August. Last chance to grab some NS points and try force my way into a top-ten in the 25-29year old age category and maybe sneak a top 70 in the overall rankings!

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