Last long run before a 50K question

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Tim Downie, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Tim Downie

    Tim Downie Guest

    This coming weekend will be three weeks before my first
    ultra and I'm swithering over what kind of long
    run/runs to do.

    I've got several 20s and a couple of 25 milers under my belt
    but for psychological reasons if none other, I'd like to do
    a long run closer to my actual race distance so my leaning
    is towards a 28 miler.

    That said, I don't want to ignore the possible benefits of
    a couple of back-to-back long runs instead for the
    endurance benefits.

    Should I choose one *or* the other or would it be possible
    to still combine a long run and a back-to-back run before
    the big day (April 11th)? If I hadn't been racing yesterday,
    I'd have been tempted to do my long run yesterday and a
    couple of back-to-backs this coming weekend but I've rather
    scuppered that plan. ;-)

    I'm currently running about 50 miles a week.

    TIA

    Tim

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  2. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    Tim Downie wrote:

    > This coming weekend will be three weeks before my first
    > ultra and I'm swithering over what kind of long
    > run/runs to do.
    >
    > I've got several 20s and a couple of 25 milers under my
    > belt but for psychological reasons if none other, I'd like
    > to do a long run closer to my actual race distance so my
    > leaning is towards a 28 miler.

    As I usually quibble, it's not the number of miles per se
    but the quality of miles which goes to time on your feet. As
    and example I only did 20 for my last run but it took about
    4 hours and had 5k of steep up and down.

    Frankly I think the 25 is fine yet if the 28 gives you more
    confidence without leaving your race in training then got
    for it. My only concern is you keep fretting over not
    training at the race distance. I wonder how you would manage
    if you decided to do a 50 miles, 100k or gulp a 100 miles.
    Rhetorical.

    > That said, I don't want to ignore the possible benefits of
    > a couple of back-to-back long runs instead for the
    > endurance benefits.
    >
    > Should I choose one *or* the other or would it be possible
    > to still combine a long run and a back-to-back run before
    > the big day (April 11th)? If I hadn't been racing
    > yesterday, I'd have been tempted to do my long run
    > yesterday and a couple of back-to-backs this coming
    > weekend but I've rather scuppered that plan. ;-)

    I never do back-t-backs for a 50k but I'm not shooting for
    a 4:30 either. You talk about BTB but never describe what
    you think they entail. Believe me that are different for
    each person. FWIW I use the BTB mainly for 100's. As noted
    above, you run a mean guilt trip because you are not
    training at the same distance as the race. The BTB is way
    one gets an extra effort of time and miles without doing it
    all one day. The all in one day attempt is too physically
    devastating. BTB allows you a quasi recovery and then to
    run again on tired but not totally trashed legs over two
    days. Long term abuse.

    To be perfectly honest I don't think BTB's are necessary for
    a 50k unless there is 5k or more of elevation gain on the
    course. From what you said in the past and the fact that you
    are shooting for
    4:30 suggests your 50k is more of speed race. If this is
    true, you will get a better bang for the buck by sticking
    with speed such as tempo flavor and not tearing yourself
    down with a BTB.

    In any event with your race three weeks away you best be
    thinking about taper and not how much more training you can
    do or you will definitely leave you race in training. If
    this next weekend is the three weeks then this should be
    about your last effort whether it's 28 all in one swoop or
    20 and 10 for a BTB.

    Opinions are like excretion organs - we all have one.
    Hopefully Dan Stumpus will offer his take. He is heavier
    with miles per week but shoots for the top 10 in a race. You
    fit between us. I ran 4:54 two years ago for on easy 50k
    course, at 57 if age makes a difference, (last year was a
    disaster for training so I'm trying to forget the year) on
    50 miles a week. I'll be happy with 5:10 or 5:15 for this
    year considering how my training. I'm opted for more quality
    and less mileage this year. Even after 15 years I keep
    tweaking the variables.

    No real answers just some things to think about.
    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  3. I have been reading about Bruce Fordyce, who won Comrades 8 times and
    London-to-Brighton 3 times. According to Noakes' book, Fordyce valued
    leg-strength training over distance running. To prepare for Comrades, he
    did the following long-runs:

    1 x 56 - 70km 8 x 42 - 56km 3 x 32 - 42km 6 x 32km

    Considering comrades is 90km, it might follow that your
    longest run should be about 40km. Admittedly, Fordyce was an
    exceptionally gifted runner (no offence, Tim, of course!!),
    but the same principles may well hold true for you.

    From my position of absolute inexperience, my feeling is
    that doing a massive long run might even cause more harm
    than good, by knackering your legs. I'm sure there's a law
    of diminishing returns where distance is concerned. Maybe do
    a couple of long runs in the next week (nice round
    26.2milers?), slowly with recovery runs, then in the couple
    of weeks pre-ultra, go for the strength / speed training?

    Whatever you decide, best of luck for the race!!!

    Dave

    --

    Ask for my e-mail if needed
     
  4. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    David Hallsworth wrote:

    > From my position of absolute inexperience, my feeling is
    > that doing a massive long run might even cause more harm
    > than good, by knackering your legs.

    Lots of schools of thought on this issue and you have to
    find what works for you. I perfer long runs, massive is too
    vague to quantify. Like any effort be it speed, hills or
    distance you gradually work your way up to some
    predetermined goal. For a long race I would start at 3 hours
    and add an hour every other weekend. until I hit my goal of
    8ish hours. How far and fast you ramp up is depenmdent on
    your experience and recovery rate but always grow your
    deltas slowly.

    > Maybe do a couple of long runs in the next week
    > (nice round
    > 26.2milers?), slowly with recovery runs, then in the
    > couple of weeks pre-ultra, go for the strength / speed
    > training?

    He is about three weeks from the race. As for the couple of
    26ers in the next week, or any week - nah, not a good idea
    for most mortals.

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, Tim Downie wrote:

    > I've got several 20s and a couple of 25 milers under my
    > belt but for psychological reasons if none other, I'd like
    > to do a long run closer to my actual race distance so my
    > leaning is towards a 28 miler.

    Well you know what Doug said about opinions (-; I can't say
    a whole lot about the physiological aspects of this since
    I've never run further than 13.1 miles.

    However, the psychological aspect deserves some comment. So
    I'm going to ramble philosophically in a way that may or may
    not be relevant. Actually, it probably won't be, but I feel
    like rambling anyway.

    We all desire to eliminate uncertainty in races. After all,
    good preparation requires that one avoid relying on luck, or
    as one runner put it, "train for good luck". So why rely on
    chance when we can have certainty instead ? Making a good
    performance certain is surely preferable to making a good
    performance an accident. With this in mind, we try to
    simulate race conditions in training, as much as possible,
    so that racing conditions are familiar, and our responses to
    those conditions are less uncertain.

    But the problem with trying to duplicate the race in
    training is that eventually, you get to the point where you
    may as well just run the race. For example, if 28 miles,
    then why not just do the extra 5k, for a race distance
    training run ? But then, you could run it a bit faster, and
    run a 50k race to prepare for your 50k race.

    What I'm getting at in a roundabout way, is that races are
    unavoidably experiments, and at some point, one must just
    accept it an let it be that way. I was terrified of the fact
    that uncertainty awaited me before my last half marathon,
    the previous 4 miler made a good race a certainty, but all I
    knew was that it would be somewhere in the 6:24-6:14 range.
    Going in with a willingness to let it unfold and accept the
    uncertainty proved a wise strategy -- I finished ahead of
    team-mates who used out-of-date long race performances as a
    basis for pacing (whereas I paced off a faster teammate).
    Note that the moral here is about accepting uncertainty, not
    that you should go out aggressively in a 50k (-;

    The danger of pushing to eliminate all, or most of the
    uncertainty is that the only way to do so is to run your
    race, or most of it, in training, which could potentially
    lead to "leaving your race on the training track".

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  6. Tim Downie

    Tim Downie Guest

    Doug Freese wrote:
    > Tim Downie wrote:
    >
    >> This coming weekend will be three weeks before my first
    >> ultra and I'm swithering over what kind of long
    >> run/runs to do.
    >>
    >> I've got several 20s and a couple of 25 milers under my
    >> belt but for psychological reasons if none other, I'd
    >> like to do a long run closer to my actual race distance
    >> so my leaning is towards a 28 miler.
    >
    > As I usually quibble, it's not the number of miles per se
    > but the quality of miles which goes to time on your feet.
    > As and example I only did 20 for my last run but it took
    > about 4 hours and had 5k of steep up and down.

    Good point about time vs distance. Perhaps 4 hours would be
    a better target than a predermined distance.
    >
    > Frankly I think the 25 is fine yet if the 28 gives you
    > more confidence without leaving your race in training then
    > got for it. My only concern is you keep fretting over not
    > training at the race distance.

    Well, I'm not really "fretting" over running the race
    distance in training, I would just like to be a bit nearer
    than my current 25 miles (which will still leave me 6 miles
    as "uncharted territory"). Having said that, I've rather
    surprised myself with how well I've recovered from my 25
    milers which makes me wonder a bit more about incorporating
    them into my ordinary marathon training. I know it's not
    *necessary*, but heck, since when was any of our running
    *necessary*? ;-)

    > I wonder how you would manage if you decided to do a 50
    > miles, 100k or gulp a 100 miles. Rhetorical.

    I'll tell you when I've done one. ;-)

    As it happens, I might have a pop at a 43 miler this summer
    but I'm thinking more along the lines of "hiking with some
    gentle jogging intervals thrown in" than running it. <snip>

    >
    > No real answers just some things to think about.

    Thanks all the same. I guess I should just enjoy the
    challenge of finding out what works for *me* rather than
    relying on what works for others.

    Tim

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  7. > > Maybe do a couple of long runs in the next week (nice
    > > round
    > > 26.2milers?), slowly with recovery runs, then in the
    > > couple of weeks pre-ultra, go for the strength /
    > > speed training?
    >
    > He is about three weeks from the race. As for the couple
    > of 26ers in the next week, or any week - nah, not a good
    > idea for most mortals.

    I meant to say '26.2miler time'..... My point, which didn't
    come across, is that if you can stay on your feet for the
    amount of time it takes to run a marathon, then I would
    imagine you'd be well prepared for 50km. Doug said this well
    - and my god - 8hrs on his feet!!

    Anyway. Don't run 2 marathons and then sue me when you knees
    explode - I didn't mean it really!!

    Dave
     
  8. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    Tim Downie wrote:

    > Well, I'm not really "fretting" over running the race
    > distance in training, I would just like to be a bit nearer
    > than my current 25 miles (which will still leave me 6
    > miles as "uncharted territory"). Having said that, I've
    > rather surprised myself with how well I've recovered from
    > my 25 milers which makes me wonder a bit more about
    > incorporating them into my ordinary marathon training. I
    > know it's not *necessary*, but heck, since when was any of
    > our running *necessary*? ;-)

    I was always a fan of running 26-28 for the marathon so you
    will not find disagreemnent with me.

    >>I wonder how you would manage if you decided to do a 50
    >>miles, 100k or gulp a 100 miles. Rhetorical.
    >
    >
    > I'll tell you when I've done one. ;-)

    I'll bet you ask long before you toe the line. :)

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  9. Ken

    Ken Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Doug
    Freese <[email protected]> writes
    >
    >
    >Tim Downie wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Well, I'm not really "fretting" over running the race
    >> distance in training, I would just like to be a bit
    >> nearer than my current 25 miles (which will still leave
    >> me 6 miles as "uncharted territory"). Having said that,
    >> I've rather surprised myself with how well I've recovered
    >> from my 25 milers which makes me wonder a bit more about
    >> incorporating them into my ordinary marathon training. I
    >> know it's not *necessary*, but heck, since when was any
    >> of our running *necessary*? ;-)
    >
    >I was always a fan of running 26-28 for the marathon so you
    >will not find disagreemnent with me.
    >
    >>>I wonder how you would manage if you decided to do a 50
    >>>miles, 100k or gulp a 100 miles. Rhetorical.
    >> I'll tell you when I've done one. ;-)
    >
    >I'll bet you ask long before you toe the line. :)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    Tim,

    Is this the Neways Speyside way you are doing? The only
    thing I can guess at for the 43 is the Corrieyairack but
    that's a walk + cycle isn't
    it.

    I don't have anything useful to add but I wish you luck and
    welcome to the world of ultra running.

    --
    Ken
     
  10. Tim Downie

    Tim Downie Guest

    Ken wrote:

    > Tim,
    >
    > Is this the Neways Speyside way you are doing?

    Yep. (The clue is in my sig file) ;-)

    > The only thing I can guess at for the 43 is the
    > Corrieyairack but that's a walk + cycle isn't
    > it.

    Don't know about that one. I'm think of the Devil of the
    Highlands. (Tyndrum to Fort William along the WHW).
    >
    > I don't have anything useful to add but I wish you luck
    > and welcome to the world of ultra running.

    Cheers!

    Tim

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  11. Phil

    Phil Guest

    Tim

    Are you hoping to race or run the 50K?

    If you're just planning to finish (I'd guess 5 hours or
    so would not be unreasonable for your training) I'd say
    two back to back run in the 18 - 20 mile range would be a
    good plan.

    If you plan to race a 28 might be a good idea. Just watch
    out for injury.

    For my money most 50k's are an off pace marathon. It's a
    fun distance.

    Enjoy!

    ---

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  12. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    phil wrote:

    > Are you hoping to race or run the 50K?

    His goal was a 4:30 which is a fast hump even on an flat
    course for a first shot. He has done some quality training
    so his odds are better.

    I would like to know what he did decide to do for his last
    long run and taper. Some of the his suggestions were very
    aggressive for taper mode.

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  13. Tim Downie

    Tim Downie Guest

    "Doug Freese" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > phil wrote:
    >
    > > Are you hoping to race or run the 50K?
    >
    > His goal was a 4:30 which is a fast hump even on an flat
    > course for a first shot. He has done some quality training
    > so his odds are better.
    >
    > I would like to know what he did decide to do for his last
    > long run and taper. Some of the his suggestions were very
    > aggressive for taper mode.

    You know, I would tell you but I'm beginning to realise
    (rather belatedly) that there's only one of me and only one
    opportunity to run this race *my* way. If I tell you my
    plans, sure as fate, Donovan or someone else will pop up to
    tell me what I ought to do.

    One of my biggest assets (with regard to the Speyside Way)
    is my almost complete ignorance about the nature of the
    course. Because I don't know what I *can't* do, I'm just
    going to give it my best shot.

    Whatever happens, I'm going to enjoy my run and I'll be sure
    to let you all know how I cocked up on the day. ;-)

    Doug, Phil, fancy joining me for the Devil of the Highlands?

    Tim
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>, Tim Downie wrote:
    >
    > "Doug Freese" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> phil wrote:
    >>
    >> > Are you hoping to race or run the 50K?
    >>
    >> His goal was a 4:30 which is a fast hump even on an flat
    >> course for a first shot. He has done some quality
    >> training so his odds are better.
    >>
    >> I would like to know what he did decide to do for his
    >> last long run and taper. Some of the his suggestions were
    >> very aggressive for taper mode.
    >
    > You know, I would tell you but I'm beginning to realise
    > (rather belatedly) that there's only one of me and only
    > one opportunity to run this race *my* way. If I tell you
    > my plans, sure as fate, Donovan or someone else will pop
    > up to tell me what I ought to do.

    You already asked, so no need to tell you again. None of us
    can or will tell you what you ought to do.

    Most of us tried to post something for you to think about.
    For example, I posted about the idea of preparing but not
    overpreparing. Ultimately, noone can tell you how that
    principal applies to your training. You can think for
    yourself better than anyone else can.

    > One of my biggest assets (with regard to the Speyside Way)
    > is my almost complete ignorance about the nature of the
    > course. Because I don't know what I *can't* do, I'm just
    > going to give it my best shot.

    Sounds like a good "plan" to me. I've used the same "plan"
    before, and provided that you're at the stage where your
    "racing instincts" are good, it works quite well.

    > Whatever happens, I'm going to enjoy my run and I'll be
    > sure to let you all know how I cocked up on the day. ;-)

    Cool. Good luck, look forward to hearing the report.

    Speaking of highlands, the Easter "Rabbit Run" has been
    changed to the "Scotland 10k", Still not sure who the
    culprit is ... Anyway, 10k suits me fine, I really want to
    put a 10k on the books.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  15. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    Tim Downie wrote:

    > One of my biggest assets (with regard to the Speyside Way)
    > is my almost complete ignorance about the nature of the
    > course. Because I don't know what I *can't* do, I'm just
    > going to give it my best shot.

    Describe ignorance of the course? If you mean never running
    a step on the course for the most ideal experience and
    training, I understand. If your suggesting you don't have
    the foggiest idea of the terrain(footing, total elevation
    gain and loss, steepness of said hills, degree of aid) then
    I fear your not giving yourself an opportunity to do your
    best. I would suspect you have queried various sources for
    the details.

    > Whatever happens, I'm going to enjoy my run and I'll be
    > sure to let you all know how I cocked up on the day. ;-)

    Don't let your adrenaline take you out to hard. Best
    of luck!!!!!

    (Psst, let's see if the rookie drops his cookies in the
    first 5 miles and begs for a body bag. )

    > Doug, Phil, fancy joining me for the Devil of the
    > Highlands?

    I have a race two weeks before and I don't think I would be
    recovered. It does look like fun and if you offered up some
    air fare I might nibble. Looks like a nice training run. ;)

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  16. Tim Downie

    Tim Downie Guest

    Doug Freese wrote:
    > Tim Downie wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >> One of my biggest assets (with regard to the Speyside
    >> Way) is my almost complete ignorance about the nature of
    >> the course. Because I don't know what I *can't* do, I'm
    >> just going to give it my best shot.
    >
    > Describe ignorance of the course? If you mean never
    > running a step on the course for the most ideal experience
    > and training, I understand. If your suggesting you don't
    > have the foggiest idea of the terrain(footing, total
    > elevation gain and loss, steepness of said hills, degree
    > of aid) then I fear your not giving yourself an
    > opportunity to do your best. I would suspect you have
    > queried various sources for the details.

    Well, I was exagerating somewhat for dramatic effect. That's
    what happens when you post post-wine. ;-) Ideally I'd lie to
    have done more trail running than I have but there in short
    supply in my locality so I'll just have to hope that what
    I've done will suffice.

    >> Whatever happens, I'm going to enjoy my run and I'll be
    >> sure to let you all know how I cocked up on the day. ;-)
    >
    > Don't let your adrenaline take you out to hard. Best of
    > luck!!!!!

    I promise I'll slow down if I'm running a 7:30 pace. ;-)

    [...]
    >
    >> Doug, Phil, fancy joining me for the Devil of the
    >> Highlands?
    >
    > I have a race two weeks before and I don't think I would
    > be recovered. It does look like fun and if you offered
    > up some air fare I might nibble. Looks like a nice
    > training run. ;)

    If you haven't already, have a shufty at
    http://www.westhighlandwayrace.org/ and the racetales,
    particularly the one by Rodgers. I hope my experience isn't
    as painful as his!

    Cheers.

    Tim

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  17. Bring a map compass and flashlight.. Take 2 meteorite
    (vitamins and minerals). speak only navaho. chin up and be
    aware of pronging crocodiles in tree branches. K Y gel for
    case of head in a lead runners well you know. Poisen ivy
    medicine. sun tan oil. exter socks and shoes. exter shorts
    and shirt.
     
  18. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    Tim Downie wrote:

    >
    > Well, I was exagerating somewhat for dramatic effect.

    If you're playing thespian instead of good luck, "break
    a leg." :)

    > That's what happens when you post post-wine. ;-) Ideally
    > I'd lie to have done more trail running than I have but
    > there in short supply in my locality so I'll just have to
    > hope that what I've done will suffice.

    I have the same problem, a trail race next weekend(250 miles
    south and warmer) and I have hardly spent any time on a
    trail. In my case the trails are covered with ice and snow
    and even with screw shoes not worth the effort.

    To combat this I try hard to find both undulating roads
    and some nasty step stuff. This combination gets me
    closest to the race conditions. The element missed is the
    sharp undulation of a trail. Those nice folks that build
    roads like to use a grader and smooth out the terrain. In
    effect you don't get to practice running with long and
    short steep grades.

    These little ups and downs if not shown some respect tend to
    vacuum your glycogen and overall energy making the last 5-10
    miles not a fun experience. The obvious answer is early
    conservation. If you wear a watch and try to run trails with
    road paces, well, drum roll.

    > If you haven't already, have a shufty at
    > http://www.westhighlandwayrace.org/ and the racetales,
    > particularly the one by Rodgers. I hope my experience
    > isn't as painful as his!

    Looks like fun race. Could not read Rodgers' miniature ugly
    font but did read a few others. This completely service
    yourself with a crew is different animal - a little like
    Barkley and Badwater - neither of which I would care to run.
    I'm to old to play survival games.

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  19. Tim Downie

    Tim Downie Guest

    Doug Freese wrote:

    >
    > These little ups and downs if not shown some respect tend
    > to vacuum your glycogen and overall energy making the last
    > 5-10 miles not a fun experience.

    I'll heed the warning!

    > The obvious answer is early conservation. If you wear
    > a watch and try to run trails with road paces, well,
    > drum roll.
    >
    >> If you haven't already, have a shufty at
    >> http://www.westhighlandwayrace.org/ and the racetales,
    >> particularly the one by Rodgers. I hope my experience
    >> isn't as painful as his!
    >
    > Looks like fun race. Could not read Rodgers' miniature
    > ugly font but did read a few others.

    I don't know which browser you sue but you can easily resize
    the font in IE. Either via "View/text size", or if you have
    a wheel mouse, CTRL and twiddle your wheel.

    > This completely service yourself with a crew is
    > different animal - a little like Barkley and Badwater -
    > neither of which I would care to run. I'm to old to play
    > survival games.

    It does make it logistically tricky to take part but it
    appeals to me a heck of a lot more than those multiple lap
    ultras that seem popular on your side of the pond. Why would
    anyone want to run round and round in circles just to clock
    up some distance? At least with the WHW race you're actually
    gettting somewhere.

    Anyway, after some deliberation I settled on a 4 hr run
    today which turned out to be dead on 26 miles as measured
    with my Timex GPS. Hopefully enough without being too much.

    Cheers.

    Tim

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  20. Dot

    Dot Guest

    Tim Downie wrote:
    > Doug Freese wrote:
    >
    >
    >>This completely service yourself with a crew is
    >>different animal - a little like Barkley and Badwater -
    >>neither of which I would care to run. I'm to old to play
    >>survival games.
    >
    >
    > It does make it logistically tricky to take part but it
    > appeals to me a heck of a lot more than those multiple lap
    > ultras that seem popular on your side of the pond. Why
    > would anyone want to run round and round in circles just
    > to clock up some distance? At least with the WHW race
    > you're actually gettting somewhere.

    I'm with you on this, Tim! Actually, since many of our
    trails don't have ready access to roads other than
    trailheads, we don't have crews or aid stations. If I'm
    going to run trails, I don't like the idea of being tied to
    roads (up to a couple liters of water, anyway).

    Dot 3 mushers and 1 runner still on trail

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd
    Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
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