LetsRun.com: The Week That Was In Running: April 5 - April 11, 2010

By LetsRun.com
April 12, 2010

To read last week's LRC Week That Was, click Here.
To read any 2009
LRC Week That Was, click Here.

This week, we break down arguably the fastest marathon in history and wonder why it's not considered a world marathon major, let you know how the 2010 Boston marathon is rapidly getting weaker in quality, get free coaching advice from British great Ron Hill, take a look at the best road 5k in the world as well as the greatest 3,200 in HS history, praise Magdaleny Lewy Boulet, and much more. Along the way, our momentum in breaking down the hot spring action is interrupted as we are forced to talk about the fall Marathons a bit too early in our minds.

Makau Wins Smoking-Fast Fortis Rotterdam/Lewy Boulet Now 4th-Fastest American Woman

2010 Fortis Rotterdam Marathon Results - Men
1. Patrick Makau          KEN  2:04:48 PB
    (splits: 14:48-29; 16-43:57; 58:40; 1:02:08; 1:13:51; 1:28:58; 1:43:52; 1:58:38)
2. Geoffrey Mutai         KEN  2:04:55 PB
3. Vincent Kipruto        KEN  2:05:13 PB
4. Feyisa Lelisa          ETH  2:05:23 PB
5. Bernard Kipyego        KEN  2:07:01  PB debut
6. Francis Kiprop         KEN  2:08:53
7. Daniel Rono            KEN  2:09:49
8. Elias Chelimo Kemboi   KEN  2:10:29
9. Koen Raymaekers        NED  2:11:09 PB   Dutch champion
10. Yared Dagnaw Sharew   ERI  2:11:28
11. Jonathan Maiyo        KEN  2:12:45 P  debut
12. Michael Shelley       AUS  2:13:05 PB debut
13. James  Carney         USA  2:15:50 PB

The biggest race of last week was no doubt the Fortis Rotterdam marathon and once again the race produced sensational times on the men's side as for the first time in history, four men broke 2:06 in the same race (and in Rotterdam, four actually broke 2:05:30). The victor was none other than Patrick Makau. Makau had run a somewhat disappointing 2:06:14, 4th-place debut last year in Rotterdam (read that again to realize how ridiculous marathoning is currently - a 2:06:14 was viewed as a disappointment) before DNFing in New York last fall when we here at LetsRun.com picked him to be the winner in New York.

What's the saying about the third time being the charm? Certainly true for Makau, as he is now the 4th-fastest marathoner in history thanks to his 2:04:48 victory in a race where 4th place was 2:05:23. Geoffrey Mutai's successful 2010 continued, as he was the runner-up in 2:04:55 (previous PR was 2:07:01). Mutai also this year was the winner of the RAK Half and 4th in the World's Best 10k.

Want to learn more about Rotterdam? Well, you can read our recap of the race but our Email of the Week may give you enough info, as it was all about Rotterdam and full of amazing info. Many thanks to LRC visitor David Graham for letting us know the following about Rotterdam:

    1.  4 men under 2:05:30!!  (First time in history). Feyisa Lelissa's 2:05:22 replaces Makau's 2:06:14 from last year as the fastest 4th place marathon finish in history. Lelisa is reportedly only 20 years old...which would easily make this the world age record for 20 year olds ... (the previous best being Michael Rotich's 2:06:33 from 2003)

    2. Makau's 2:04:47 = 4:45.6/mile. Makau finished far better this year than in his debut last year.  Last year he came through the 30K mark in 1:28:52 and finished in 2:06:14.  This year, he was actually a few seconds slower at 30K, 1:28:58, yet finished in 2:04:48.  Overall, his last 12.2K was 1:26 faster than last year.  His half-marathon splits this year were 1:02:08/1:02:40.  (The biggest lag in the race came between 20K and 30K.)
    3. In one of those odd twists of sports, Haile Gebrselassie remains the only person to break 2:05 by himself in a marathon.  Specifically, if you look at the 5 races where 2:05 has been broken (2003 Berlin, 2007 Berlin, 2008 Berlin, 2009 Rotterdam, 2010 Rotterdam) you find that in 3 of them, this has been done by pairs: Tergat/Korir, Gebrselassie, Gebrselassie, Kibet/Kwambai, and Makau/Mutai.  Odd, huh? ... or on second thought, maybe not.  When you are pushing the envelope, it helps to have someone at your side to make you give 100%.

    Last 2 minutes
    of Rotterdam

    4. Finishing 2nd was Geoffrey Mutai who lowered his 2:07:01 PR from his win at the Eindhoven Marathon last year to run a sizzling 2:04:54.  In third was Vincent Kipruto, the winner of last year's Paris Marathon in 2:05:47, who took 35 seconds off of his PR with a splendid 2:05:12.

    5. Despite high expectations, neither Jonathan Maiyo nor Bernard Kipyego broke Evans Rutto's Marathon Debut record of 2:05:50 ...

    6. The T.S. Award - A friend of mine with a sub 25 minute 5 mile PR once covered the two mile stretch between 22 and 24 miles at the Boston Marathon in 36 minutes.  In his honor, I give the persisting-through-a-really-bad-day award to James Kwambai, one of the favorites heading into the race.  All of Kwambai's 5K splits were between 14:28 and 15:38 (4:39 - 5:02/mile) until the stretch between 35K and 40K, which he covered in...27:00 (8:41/mile).  His final 2.2 K took 12:32, and his overall time was 2:24:07 (1:02:08/1:21:59) I salute him (and the person for whom this award is named) for having the guts to finish.  Most world class guys just drop out when things go sour.


The women's winner in Rotterdam was Ethiopia's Aberu Kebede, who ran 2:25:25, but the story of the day from the American perspective was Magdaleny Lewy Boulet's nearly four-minute PR to finish 2nd in 2:26:22. Lewy Boulet is our Inspirational Runner of the Week. Think your best days are past you? Maybe not. Let Lewy Boulet inspire you.

She is no spring chicken, as she's 36 years old and this was her 11th marathon. Her previous best was a the 2:30:19 she ran to get 2nd at the 2008 Olympic Trials. Now her PR is four minutes faster and she's the fourth-fastest American in history.

2010 Fortis Rotterdam Marathon Results - Women
1. Aberu Kebede            ETH   2:25:25 PB
    (splits: 17:03; 33:57; 51:10; 1:08:02; 1:11:59; 1:24:58; 1:42:00; 1:59:17; 2:17:15)
2. Magdalena Lewy-Boulet   USA   2:26:22 PB
3. Xialin Zhu              CHN   2:29:42
4. Yevgenia Danilova       RUS   2:31:44 PB
5. Beatriz Ros Blanco      ESP   2:32:28
6. Alina Istadura          ROM   2:33:36 PB
7. Zoila Gomez             USA   2:33:54
8. Meseret Mengistu        ETH   2:34:07 PB Debut
9. Olga Glok               RUS   2:38:10
10. Merel de Knegt         NED   2:38:41 PB Dutch champion
11. Xenia Luxem            BEL   2:39:01 PB Debut
12. Anna von Schenk        SWE   2:39:20
13. Inge de Jong           NED   2:40:55 PB Debut, second in Dutch championship

The all time US list is as follows:

1. Deena Kastor -2:19:36
2. Joan Benoit - 2:21:21
3. Kara Goucher - 2:25:53
4. Magdalena Lewy-Boulet - 2:26:22
5. Julie Brown - 2:26:26

The LRC co-founders are the same age as Magdalena and they now have trouble running 30 minutes a few times a week. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Lewy Boulet also deserves praise for PRing only a few weeks after leading the US women to bronze at the World Cross-Country Championships. With so many elites begging off of US national teams, it's refreshing to see someone run so well after representing their country on the highest stage. We hope others take note!

American James Carney ran 2:15 in the men's race after setting off on 2:11 pace . He ran a weirdly-paced race, as his 5k splits were 15:50, 15:36, 15:16, 15:23 (65:51 halfway) and then 16:35, 16:52, 16:46, 16:19. So he basically runs 2:11 pace for halfway and then immediately started running 2:20 pace (16:35 5km pace is 2:19:56 pace). That's way too early to hit the wall. Not sure what happened but kudos to him for going to Rotterdam and trying to run fast and kudos for Lewy Boulet for running fast.

One last comment on Rotterdam. Can someone please tell us why this race isn't considered a World Marathon Major?

More: *LRC Rotterdam Recap *IAAF Recap *Full Race Replay *Video Highlights *LRC MBoard: 2010 Rotterdam Marathon Thread *LRC MBoard: Congrats to Magdalena Boulet - 2:26 at Rotterdam!!! *LRC MBoard: Is Magdalena Boulet a real American runner?

Wind Wins At Carlsbad
The top 5k road race in the world also was last week, the Carlsbad 5000, and like in Rotterdam the wind may have prevented some world records from going down. Two-time Olympic and two-time world 5k medallist Eliud Kipchoge entered the race confident he could take down the 13:00 WR, as he thought he was ready for a 12:58, but huge winds got in the way and he settled for a 13:11.

Likewise, in the women's race, Meseret Defar was unable to take down the record of 14:46 but she won easily in 15:04. Defar was upbeat afterwards as she told competitor.com, "I think my fitness is good, and maybe in the summer I will break the world record for 5,000 meters."

We also have to give out props to basketball great Bill Walton who rode one of two lead bicycles for the race.
More: *
Kipchoge And Defar Win Windy Carlsbad 5k

The other major road race of news of note was in DC, where the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was held. Kenya's Lineth Chepkurui kept up her hot running, following up her dominant win at Crescent City with a dominant win in DC, as she blitzed the course in 51:51 for her 3rd-straight Cherry Blossom title, although this year's time was 90 seconds better than she'd ever done on the course. Yes, 90 seconds. The men's race involved a 3-way sprint finish and a protest between the top two as Kenyans and Ethiopians battled it out. If you want to learn all the details, read more here: Washington Post Recap Of Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

17 16 Boys Break 9:00 At Arcadia

2010 Arcadia 3,200

Each year, the HS performances seemingly get better and better. Now that more and more HSers are flocking to invitationals and meets with Stanford-like conditions, it's getting to be a little bit ridiculous. At the 2010 Arcadia meet last weekend, which is basically the Stanford of HS distance action, 17 boys broke the tape in sub-9, before one was DQed and there were officially 16 sub-nines. Yes, 16 sub-9:00s in a middle-of-the-season HS meet.

Let's just state the obvious - a sub-9 ain't what it used to be. Very impressive, yes, but training has come a long way and, more importantly, the racing conditions the average top HSer gets today are way more conducive to fast times than in the past when guys had to run fast in their own state in the middle of the day. Regardless, a big Thumbs Up to all 16 that broke 9:00.
*Boards: 17 boys under 9 in the 3,200! *Epic Boys 3,200 Steals Show At Arcadia *Arcadia 3,200 Results *Arcadia 3,200 Preview

Time To Get Ready For The Fall Marathons???
Our preparations for the big spring marathons in Rotterdam, Boston and London were interrupted last week, as Chicago and New York started announcing some of the runners for their 2010 fall races. In a nutshell, Ryan Hall is running Chicago and Meb and Deena are running New York.

Announcing the big names this early is a bit of a joke in our eyes. Announcing one or two big names (particularly the defending champ) isn't a major problem, as generally it's assumed the defending champ is going to run, but it just strikes us as a bit weird.

To us, the hype about marathons is all about the matchups, so as long as only one major star of each sex is announced, then MAYBE it's okay to announce it this soon. But if matchups are starting to be announced prior to the previous season's marathons, we don't approve. It would be akin to announcing the Wimbledon draws prior to the French Open being contested or like a boxer announcing his next opponent before fighting the current one. Let the men and women produce this spring and then go after the best ones for the fall.

Although that being said, we've got to give the NYRR a ton of credit and a huge Thumbs Up for having launch parties at bars on Wednesday night throughout the City. The first drink was even on the NYRR. The NYRR, like the major pro sports leagues, understands that alcohol makes sporting events a lot more fun.

We'll never forget waiting on 1st Avenue for the ING New York City Marathon runners to come down the street a few years ago when we had the following interaction with a stranger:

    Stranger: "I love this day. It's my second favorite day of the year."
    LRC: "We love NYC as well. Are you a crazy-big running fan?"
    His response: "No. It's just one of the days of year when you can drink before 12 noon and people don't think you are crazy. St. Paddy's is #1. New York Marathon is #2."

On the same day the first elites were announced for New York this year, New York also had it's lottery drawing, so the average runners found out if they are running in 2010 or not. We give New York another Thumbs Up for trying the two events together, as we think it's good that New York tied its lottery announcement with the unveiling of some elites, as that way the average John Doe runner associates the race with the pros. We think the races continually need to stress the elite athletics aspect of their races over and over; otherwise, the elite races will soon be criticized as they are in London as being nothing but charity drains.

More: Ryan Hall Commits To Chicago Marathon 2 Weeks Before Boston *Boards: Hall to run Chicago *Hall Eyes Khannouchi's US Mark In Chicago *ING New York City Announces Meb And Deena *Boards: Meb and Kastor running NY *Keflezighi To Defend New York Title *Deena To Run New York This Fall

Last few minutes of Paris

Tadesse Tola Produces In Paris
One guy who may be a big factor in the fall marathons is Tadesse Tola. Big things were expected of Tola, the two-time winner of the New York City Half Marathon, when he made his marathon debut last fall in Chicago, but he struggled and was only 9th in 2:15:48. Well, he got his 2nd marathon right in a big way on Saturday as he won the Paris Marathon in 2:06:41.

Considering Tola has won the NYC half twice as well as the Healthy Kidney 10k in Central Park, we were stunned he didn't make his marathon debut in New York last fall. Common sense says you can expect to see him in Central Park this fall and in our minds, he's the early favorite - sorry, Meb fans. If someone came to us right now and said, "For $1,000, pick who you think will win in New York in 2010, Meb or Tola," we'd say Tola without hesitation and that's even considering the fact that we don't even know if Tola will run there.

In the women's race in Paris, Ethiopian Atsede Bayisa set a new women's course record by running a 2010 world leader of 2:22:04, as Christelle Daunay finished 2nd in a French record (2:24:20).

Considering 2:22:04 is nearly 7 minutes off the world record of 2:15:25, we initally weren't going to give much attention to Bayisa's performance. But believe it or not, given the current state of women's marathoning, it may end up as the world leader in 2010. In 2009, 2:22:11 was the world leader for the entire year. And the year before that only two women ran under 2:22.

And given the fact that last week the big off the track/road news was that one woman whom you'd expect to smash 2:22 just about every time she runs, Paula Radclfifeannounced she is pregnant with baby #2 on the way, it will be interesting to see if the time stands up or not.
More: Tola Lowers Marathon PB By 9 Minutes In Paris *IAAF Recap of Paris *Video Of Finish *Boards: Paris Marathon 2010 Updates *Top 10 Results *Tola's Splits *LRC Archives: Tola Dominates 2009 New York Half *Paula Announces Baby #2 On The Way *MBoard: Goodbye 2012? Radcliffe is pregnant...again! *LRC Archives: Paula Talks About Training During Pregnancy

News From Japan
And the winner is ... Japan. Japan's corporate club system picked up two major coups last week as it was announced that the winner of the two of the last three world junior cross titles in 2008 winner Ibrahim Jeylan and 2010 winner Caleb Ndiku are headed to Japan for the next year. Besides winning world junior cross, Jeylan is best known for running a world junior record of 27:02 as a 17-year-old in 2006. Recent results haven't been as promising for the 20-year-old, as he "only" ran 13:19 and 27:22 last year. The 17-year-old Ndiku sports a 3:38 PR. Ndiku will run for the most successful Ekiden team from last year in Team Nissin Shokuhin, while Jeylan will run for Team Honda.
More: World Junior XC Champion Caleb Ndiku Headed To Japanese Corporate Team

Quote of The Week #1
Our first quote of the week (that wasn't a quote of the day) comes from English marathon great Ron Hill, who is celebrating the 40th anniversay of his historic 1970 Boston marathon win, when he ran 2:10:30 and knocked more than 3 minutes off the course record.

Hill said the best marathon of his career came 4 months after that Boston win at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, when he ran 2:09:28 in hot weather to win the Commonwealth Games over a loaded field. The race went out for 10 miles in 47:45 on a hot day, and Hill perfectly described that race and the era of 1970s no-holds-barred racing as follows:

    The start was almost like a 1,500-meter race. We just ran our eyeballs out. That was the way we always competed back then. We didn't have any pacemakers. We just raced each other from the start. We figured, the last man standing will be the winner.

The quote comes from a nice interview of Hill by Runnersworld. A definite Recommended Read.

Weekly Free Coaching Advice
Our weekly free coaching advice also comes from Mr. Hill. We've always claimed that the best workout in the world is a race and Hill agrees. Hill: "I always told people the most important speed work was racing. I loved to race. In one mad period, I did 11 races in 21 days."

11 races in 21 days is a bit much, but running is pretty simple and Hill proved that our belief is correct. He thrived on high mileage (120 to 140), listening to his body (lots of fartleks) and using races as his key workouts. Remember those three things and you'll be in shape in no time.

Boston Gets Weaker
Earlier this spring, we praised Boston for setting up a pretty strong field - one that was strong enough that Meb Keflezighi only had the 17th-best PR of the male entrants. Well maybe the LetsRun.com jinx does exist, as ever since then, the Boston fields have gotten weaker. A few weeks ago, 4-time men's champion Robert Cheruyiot withdrew due to a hip injury, which was a big blow as he's one of the biggest names in marathoning and he was in good recent form, having been the runner-up in New York as well as having won his half marathon prep race early this year.

Well this week, things got worse for Boston, as 4-time women's champ Catherine Ndereba withdrew with an back injury. Also withdrawing from the race was former Chicago marathon runner-up and 2:07 guy Ben Maiyo.

Having lost two 2:07 guys on the men's side, Boston did add a 2:07 guy last week to try to make up for it in Dmytro Baranovskyy of the Ukraine.

But having lost two of its greatest champions in Cheruyiot and Ndereba really hurts Boston big time. The 114th Boston Marathon is April 19.

Photo Of The Week/Quote Of The Week #2
Some Grinnell college cross-country runners were out for a run when a ferocious spring hail storm hit. And when we mean ferocious, we mean nearly lethal. If you don't believe us, check out the damage the hail did to one of the runners who had to be rushed to the hospital. The woman who helped the guys get to a hospital said the guy in the photo below was the one who had the least damage to his body.Warning, it's a graphic photo:

Photo Of Runner Nearly Killed By Hail

The woman who drove the cross-country runners to the hospital also gave a classic quote as to how she knew she as dealing with runners.

"We saw right up here, there was a kid in the road looking like he was flagging things down. And you could tell he was a runner because he had the running shorts on, he was barefooted, and he looked pretty beat up."
More: Runners Caught Outside As Hail Storm Hits

Collegiate Recap
Last week was a relatively quiet one on the collegiate front. A few new leading national marks were set, however. They were as follows:

200: Evander Wells of Tennessee ran 20.45 at the Sea Ray Relays.
1,500: NC State redshirt freshman and cross-country All-American Ryan Hill ran a national leading 3:40.81.
Shot Put: Ariz. State's Ryan Whiting now leads with a 71'2.75" heave.
Javelin: Texas A&M freshman Sam Humphreys leads with a 251'8".
400h - Mississippi junior Lee Moore is now tied for the NCAA lead with a 49.52.

Javelin: Oklahoma's Brittany Borman threw 186'1" and is now #1 and her teammate Karen Shump is #2 at 182'9".

However, the most noteworthy news from the collegiate scene came on the women's side, as two of the biggest names made some news. Oregon super-frosh Jordan Hasay ran in the Duck uniform for the first time at Hayward field and she also ran her first collegiate 5,000. Hasay had a rabbit for a mile but then was all alone after that. The crowd was very appreciative of Hasay's 16:16.02 (#7 in the country), but Hasay didn't really enjoy running the solo 5k. She told Doug Binder of trackfocus.com afterwards: "It was tough for me. I didn't really have a great time out there. I tried to stick to solid pacing but I kind of slowed down. The crowd was really great and hopefully I'll put on a better show for them next time."

7th in the country solo isn't too shabby. Clearly Hasay will do better the next time she runs and she stated as such as she added, "I run faster when I'm with other people. I'll have a lot better mental picture for next time."

One of the best middle-distance talents on the women's side, Brie Felnagle of UNC, resurfaced last week after a long absence. She ran 4:16.80 to win a 1,500 and put her 5th on the NCAA list.

There also were a few rivalry meets. Army - Navy: The Army men thrashed the Navy men while the Navy women edged the Army women by 14. Stanford - Cal: Stanford men win while women lose.

The story of the day from the Stanford meet was that Chris Derrick made his 2010 debut a successful one as he won the 3k in 8:03. The last thing we should mention is former Foot Locker champ AJ Acosta made a 2nd attempt at the steeple - 4 years after his 9:35 disaster and the results were almost exactly the same - a 9:32 disaster despite the fact that coach Vin Lananna had high hopes for Acosta. The steeple certainly is a bit of watered-down event (pardon the pun) for those that can do it, but the thing is very few guys can actually do it well.

More: *NCAA National Lists *Recap Of Hasay's 5,000m Debut *Oregon Takes It To Texas A&M In Team Battle *Boards: Jordan Hasay 5000m debut : what you expected or not? *MBoard Talk About Felnagle's 2010 Debut *Oregon Has High Hopes For Acosta in Steeple *Acosta Bombs Steeple

Lastly We Praise The Virgin London Marathon For Its Charity Work
Last week, some in Britain were trying to create a false controversy about the charity donations the Virgin London marathon produces each year. We saw the false controversy coming long ago and simply are going to go in the opposite direction. We think it's fantastic that last week the Virgin London Marathon announced they will donate up to £150,000 annually to the UK Athletics Endurance Programme. A Thumbs Up to them.

The Endurance Programme is run by Ian Stewart and is Britain's attempt to produce the next generation of British distance stars. The funding will help produce high-altitude training centers in Iten, Kenya and Font Romeu, France.

So kudos to Virgin London for being so charitable. A definite Thumbs Up.

But we've got to give a Thumbs Down to UK Athletics. They get a huge donation from London and they can't even give praise to London's primary sponsor. The UK Athletics press release said they and the London marathon are working together, when in reality the name of the marathon is the Virgin London Marathon. You'd think if you were benefitting in such a major way, you could at least acknowledge the company that is giving millions annually to the race.
London Denies Charity Wrongdoing *UKA Athletics Release On Donation

LetsRun.com Quotes Of The Day - Day-By-Day:

Monday: "Of course I was capable of doing the world record, if there was not a strong wind."
- Patrick Makau, who ran 2:04:48 to win an exciting Fortis Rotterdam Marathon on Sunday by only a 10-second margin over Geoffrey Mutai.

Sunday: "My body responded quite well to training and if we get good pacemakers like those we had last year coupled with favourable weather conditions, then nothing will stop us from smashing the world record."
- Fortis Rotterdam Marathon competitor James Kwambai.

"I believe that the marathon is actually good for me because if you go to cross country sometimes you get the mud and you may be stuck. But the roads? Straight."
- World Half Marathon silver medal winner Bernard Kipyego, who will run his debut marathon on Sunday in Rotterdam against a deep and talented field. See
our picks here.

"There is no crowd in the country that will appreciate Bolt's abilities more than the one in Franklin Field. And there is nowhere in the country where he could run in front of as many people."
- Penn Relays Carnival director Dave Johnson on Usain Bolt coming to run the 4 x 100 for Jamaica against the US on the always thrilling final day at Franklin Field.

- Anonymous internet sage DeMar DeBetter on the LRC thread titled "Meb and Kastor runnning NY."

Wednesday: "To cut a long story short, what still gives me goosebumps is the way [my father] thought. Sleeping under a street light, with tattered clothes on his body and without a single decent meal for months, Milkha Singh was struck with a thought - he wanted to be a world champion."
- Jeev Milkha Singh talking about father Milkah Singh, who was finally convinced to do a movie about his life to inspire young Indian kids to train hard. Read more on India's greatest-ever track athlete here.

Tuesday: "When I woke up today early I was feeling OK, and my mind was back again, and I said, 'OK, this is a good day for a nice race.' I could not tell how my body was going to be today after a long travel here, but I am happy because I did what I didn't expect."
- Lineth Chepkurui after running the #6 all-time 10km time in the world Saturday at the Crescent City Classic. Less than a week ago she finished 5th at World XC behind Tirunesh Dibaba in Poland, but got enough rest to run 30:45 and finish only a few seconds behind some of the elite men on the streets of New Orleans.

Last Week's Homepages
*Mon (April 12) *Sun (April 11) *Sat (April 10) *Fri (April 9) *Thur (April 8) *Wed (April 7) *Tue (April 6)



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