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Did my first Sprint today

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Did my first Sprint today

Old 05-02-24, 02:36 PM
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Did you wear a dedicated tri suit for the sprint or kind of just normal appropriate clothing for each stage?
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Old 05-02-24, 02:54 PM
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I wore a pair of hybrid running/bike shorts (Sparx, I think) and a fruity tank top that depicts a sloth with sunglasses sipping a margarita. But what you need to do is check with the sponsors to see what apparel is allowed or necessary. The events I'll be attending are very loose with the clothing issue.
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Old 05-02-24, 10:37 PM
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As long as it's mechanically sound, just about any bike will do for your first tri. I wouldn't be looking at a lot of money until I had some experience and knew this was something I wanted to do.

As for sprint distances, the standard sprint is 750m swim, 13.1 mile ride and a 3.1 mile (5k) run. There are variations on that, but that's really kind of a standard for a sprint because it's half of an Olympic distance, and that is pretty standardized. You'll find some even shorter, like "super sprints" and longer. But a sprint is a great distance to get an idea of what it's all about.

I think this thread is a pretty good resource, as is ArgoMan's earlier triathlon thread. Then, as mentioned, Slowtwitch can be a good resource as well. But Slowtwich can get a little overwhelming. Some of those people get really invested in the pro level discussions.
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Old 05-03-24, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
As long as it's mechanically sound, just about any bike will do for your first tri. I wouldn't be looking at a lot of money until I had some experience and knew this was something I wanted to do.

As for sprint distances, the standard sprint is 750m swim, 13.1 mile ride and a 3.1 mile (5k) run. There are variations on that, but that's really kind of a standard for a sprint because it's half of an Olympic distance, and that is pretty standardized. You'll find some even shorter, like "super sprints" and longer. But a sprint is a great distance to get an idea of what it's all about.

I think this thread is a pretty good resource, as is ArgoMan's earlier triathlon thread. Then, as mentioned, Slowtwitch can be a good resource as well. But Slowtwich can get a little overwhelming. Some of those people get really invested in the pro level discussions.
Yea, I am definitely not looking to spend a lot of money on a bike. I have a couple of friends who are trying to assist me in my bike search. One, who rides but not in competitions, is on board with finding the best bang for the buck on the cheap. The other friend, who has done several IM, is kind of on the other side. He said get the best bike you can afford. LOL. So that is why I am on this forum trying to figure out things.

For the sprint that I am looking at, there are actually two options. The sprint is 550m swim, 13 mile ride, and 3.1 mile run. They also have a super sprint that is 200 meter swim, 8 mile run, 2.1 mile run. I am leaning towards the regular sprint.

I appreciate everyone's feedback on this. Questions keep popping in my head all the time. Everything from the bike, to the attire, to nutrition, training, etc.
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Old 05-03-24, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
I wore a pair of hybrid running/bike shorts (Sparx, I think) and a fruity tank top that depicts a sloth with sunglasses sipping a margarita. But what you need to do is check with the sponsors to see what apparel is allowed or necessary. The events I'll be attending are very loose with the clothing issue.
Love the tank!!! That is awesome. Thanks for the suggestion on Sparx. Looks like an affordable option to get going.
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Old 05-03-24, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by TXRunner78
Love the tank!!! That is awesome. Thanks for the suggestion on Sparx. Looks like an affordable option to get going.
Yeah mate....don't be investing too much money into this until you decide it's something that you really wish to pursue. I will suggest a really nice pair of running shoes. But you're a runner and probably already know that! I dropped a bunch on some Hokas and glad I did.
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Old 05-03-24, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
Yeah mate....don't be investing too much money into this until you decide it's something that you really wish to pursue. I will suggest a really nice pair of running shoes. But you're a runner and probably already know that! I dropped a bunch on some Hokas and glad I did.
No lack of expensive running shoes here. Doing marathons and other distance runs, I have plenty of those in the closet. LOL.
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Old 05-03-24, 02:40 PM
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If you've done marathons, then a sprint tri will be cake. One caveat, which I warned ArgoMan about, is the swim. Pool swimming is an entirely different environment than an open water competitive swim. If you have not spent a lot of time swimming distance in open water, that's where I would focus.

The bike is easy. Just get something for now that will get you 13 miles. I don't disagree with buy the best you can afford, but maybe after you've done one or two events. Hell, you could probably borrow or rent a bike just for a sprint. You're only going to be on the bike for about 40-45 minutes anyway.

But most people lose first on the swim. My experience/observation is that 90% of the people who start but DNF a triathlon lose it on the swim. I'm very serious about this. The swim can be the most intimidating part of the event.

Don't worry so much about what to wear this time around. A pair of bike shorts that you can run in and a good pair of shoes is really all you need. Helmet, of course. This first time, don't plan or expect any great finish. Just be aware of what's going on around you, particularly in transition. The only thing I would suggest is prior to your first event, you actually get dressed in each kit, swim, bike, run, and do a dry run changing for each. That will give you a basic idea of everything you need and how to stage items. You can fine tune the more events you do.

If you look at the stickies at the top of this section, there is a sticky thread about your first tri with a bunch of tips.
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Old 05-03-24, 04:23 PM
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[But most people lose first on the swim. My experience/observation is that 90% of the people who start but DNF a triathlon lose it on the swim. I'm very serious about this. The swim can be the most intimidating part of the event.[/QUOTE]

Never been truer words spoken. My goodness...I was training a few times a week in a pool. Knocking out 1600 meters, no problem. Finishing up by doing 100 meters of punishing butterfly, just to get my fitness up. Could swim all day. But when I attempted the mere 400 meters in the sprint, I swear, I thought I was done for. Crushed me. I tell you this not to intimidate you TX, but to allow you to get prepared. You can do it, just prepare yourself and a plan and take it easy for the first time on the swim leg.

When is your event?
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Old 05-04-24, 05:32 PM
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The sprint I am looking to do is mid July. There is a sprint next weekend in our town and my buddy is trying to push me to do it, no training. He said I could borrow his bike if I do. LOL. I think I am going to pass on that offer.

Last edited by TXRunner78; 05-04-24 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 05-05-24, 12:18 PM
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Now that I can post a pic, here is the bike I was talking about in my previous post in the thread. Seller is asking $480. I have been looking for used road bikes on various marketplace websites and so far it has been hard to find an XL frame.

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Old 05-05-24, 12:27 PM
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Little bit of an older design but I would say that's a damn fine starter bike for the price. I think you should probably be able to get down a little closer to $400, but even if he's firm on that price, it will serve you well for years.

My newest tri bike is a 2015 Specialized Shiv (pictured above) but I have several other tri bikes of roughly the same era as the one you're considering. While I believe the Shiv is still the fastest of my bikes, it's really only a matter of seconds on shorter courses. Long courses, maybe a minute or two at most. Plus, you could always upgrade that one and get a little more out of it.

If you haven't ridden a tri bike much, it's going to take some getting used to. It's also a matter of tweaking the fit to suit you. That bike, the way it was designed and in it's current set up, is a little old school "go low to go fast" mindset. Which can be true, but can also be unbearable for long duration. Don't be afraid to relax the position a little. You may not be as fast at peak, but you can hold longer in a slightly more relaxed position.

As for me, my problem is exactly the opposite. It's hard for me to find a bike in a Small/XS frame, so any time I run across one, I tend to buy it, whether I need it or not. Hence, I bought another used Cervelo P2 a couple weeks ago. Tri bike #4.
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Old 05-06-24, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
Little bit of an older design but I would say that's a damn fine starter bike for the price. I think you should probably be able to get down a little closer to $400, but even if he's firm on that price, it will serve you well for years.

My newest tri bike is a 2015 Specialized Shiv (pictured above) but I have several other tri bikes of roughly the same era as the one you're considering. While I believe the Shiv is still the fastest of my bikes, it's really only a matter of seconds on shorter courses. Long courses, maybe a minute or two at most. Plus, you could always upgrade that one and get a little more out of it.

If you haven't ridden a tri bike much, it's going to take some getting used to. It's also a matter of tweaking the fit to suit you. That bike, the way it was designed and in it's current set up, is a little old school "go low to go fast" mindset. Which can be true, but can also be unbearable for long duration. Don't be afraid to relax the position a little. You may not be as fast at peak, but you can hold longer in a slightly more relaxed position.

As for me, my problem is exactly the opposite. It's hard for me to find a bike in a Small/XS frame, so any time I run across one, I tend to buy it, whether I need it or not. Hence, I bought another used Cervelo P2 a couple weeks ago. Tri bike #4.
More newbie questions. Would that bike I posted, be good enough to use in an Iron Man if some upgrades were added to it? Or for Iron Man should it be a more recent model?
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Old 05-06-24, 10:31 AM
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TX: that's a pretty good bike. Older in the sense that lots of newer designed dedicated TT bikes have a far less steep seat tube angle. The new bikes are also all carbon. So, I have an older road bike that I modified for Tri use. It works pretty well, but the seat tube angle is 73.5 degrees. That angle wants to keep the upper torso in a more upright position. The whole point of the TT bike is to get more "aero", meaning more forward and positioned more prominently over the actual bars. I just bought a dedicated TT frame that allows me to get at 79 degrees, way more forward.

You can modify that bike further. It looks to have a more traditional road bike geometry. But the seat post is turned forward a bit, allowing you to sit closer/over the bars. By far the biggest improvement you can make is the wheels. Those wheels appear to be AlexRims ALX330. Those are pretty old wheels that came stock on lower to mid end road bikes. Specialized used them for lower model Tarmacs, kinda with the expectation that the buyer would change them out at some point. AlexRims is not a company that enters the conversation when new wheels are discussed, which is unfair. I had a stock set that they were just fine. But I'd definitely look to change the wheels. No question. Can't tell you how much of a difference good wheels will make. You'd be fine for sprints and such with that bike. But an actual 70.3 or full ironman? I don't know, I'm so new. But if I were really serious about becoming that sort of athlete, I'd upgrade the bike at some point. Okay, I'll shut up now....
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Old 05-06-24, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
TX: that's a pretty good bike. Older in the sense that lots of newer designed dedicated TT bikes have a far less steep seat tube angle. The new bikes are also all carbon. So, I have an older road bike that I modified for Tri use. It works pretty well, but the seat tube angle is 73.5 degrees. That angle wants to keep the upper torso in a more upright position. The whole point of the TT bike is to get more "aero", meaning more forward and positioned more prominently over the actual bars. I just bought a dedicated TT frame that allows me to get at 79 degrees, way more forward.

You can modify that bike further. It looks to have a more traditional road bike geometry. But the seat post is turned forward a bit, allowing you to sit closer/over the bars. By far the biggest improvement you can make is the wheels. Those wheels appear to be AlexRims ALX330. Those are pretty old wheels that came stock on lower to mid end road bikes. Specialized used them for lower model Tarmacs, kinda with the expectation that the buyer would change them out at some point. AlexRims is not a company that enters the conversation when new wheels are discussed, which is unfair. I had a stock set that they were just fine. But I'd definitely look to change the wheels. No question. Can't tell you how much of a difference good wheels will make. You'd be fine for sprints and such with that bike. But an actual 70.3 or full ironman? I don't know, I'm so new. But if I were really serious about becoming that sort of athlete, I'd upgrade the bike at some point. Okay, I'll shut up now....
I completely appreciate the feedback. I am so new to the bike world that I really have no idea. Iron Man Texas 2025 opened up today. I think me and two friends from work, are going to sign up. I want to do just one, and I am not getting any younger. So figured while I am training for my next running event (48.6 miles over 4 days; 5k, 10k, half, full), that I may as well add in some swimming and biking. I have been trying to read all resources that I can. Just read a post from a guy who had never ran a mile before and in two years time he started with a 5k, then moved to half marathon, then did a full marathon, then did an Iron Man, another marathon, and then just finished his second Iron Man. It was a good read. He said that he wasn't sold on if he would do another IM, so he did his first one on a road bike and just added clip on aero bars. It is kind of where I am at. I am sure I am going to be one and done with IM. So i don't want to dump a ton of money in a bike. I don't mind adding some upgrades to building up a bike that I got on the cheap. I think after one, I will go back to my running corner, maybe stick with sprint tri's after that.
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Old 05-06-24, 03:00 PM
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Then that bike is fine. get some aero extensions (I like the Zipp Vukas) and consider a better wheelset. A really good, stiff aluminum wheelset can be found on eBay for less than $500. A good saddle is also nice for longer rides.
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Old 05-06-24, 07:03 PM
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I would have no problem riding that bike in an IM event. Plenty of life left in it. Compared to a brand new top-of-the-line Canyon or Orbea? It might be slower by 45-60 minutes in the hands of a pro. For you and me? That bike is probably <30 minutes difference from a brand new $10k tri bike.

I agree about upgrading the wheelset. I have a set of Alex 298 wheels that came on a Specialized road bike. At least so far as the 298s are concerned, they are a bottom tier wheelset. I would only use them on a trainer. Keep an eye out for a good used set of carbon wheels that are tubeless capable. You may not necessarily need carbon, but they are nice to have. I absolutely love my Reynolds wheels on the Shiv and I'm looking to pick up one or two additional wheel sets for other bikes. Rim brakes are a little more challenging to find, unless you go with Chinese. Still plenty of offerings available for a reasonable price, even on Amazon. I've also gone tubeless on my wheels as much as possible. Not so much for the watt savings but, at least where I ride, punctures are just too frequent and tubeless almost completely eliminates that nuisance.

The seat is going to be entirely personal, both in build specifics and positioning. I ride my bike with a high nose up position, but I also have different physiology than you guys, so it works for me. However, I have yet to find a seat which doesn't get uncomfortable beyond 40-50 miles. This is going to be my biggest challenge for IMAZ on the bike course.

If you pass on the tri bike and decide just to use a road bike for IM, then I absolutely would recommend getting clamp on aero bars soon and start practicing with them. Just be forewarned, they are a bandaid approach. They do work, and for long distances, they are superior to conventional road bike configuration *when set up properly*, but they simply aren't as good as the dedicated tri bike. There are several videos on Youtube (specifically GCN and GTN) regarding the use of clamp on bars on a road bike that detail the compromises. Good information there. I really prefer the Profile Designs Carbon Stryke bars, if you can find them (which I'm betting are what's on the bike you're looking at). And you'll need to determine if you prefer the straighter bar or the angled bar.
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Old 05-06-24, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
The seat is going to be entirely personal, both in build specifics and positioning. I ride my bike with a high nose up position, but I also have different physiology than you guys, so it works for me. However, I have yet to find a seat which doesn't get uncomfortable beyond 40-50 miles. This is going to be my biggest challenge for IMAZ on the bike course.
Jen, have you tried an SMP Selle saddle? Really excellent. Hard to fit, but top-notch. I use the Dynamic. As for wheels, I have a set of cheap Chinese 50mm SuperTeam wheels, the UCI-approved version. They're surprisingly light, stiff, and responsive. I fly on them. Do you think it's worth getting a new wheelset for my new TT bike build, or should I swap out the SuperTeams to the TT bike? I'm otherwise thinking about a set of deep Flo wheels.
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Old 05-06-24, 07:55 PM
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I have a Sella on one of my road bikes. It's OK, but it is an older design too. I just recently put a Fizik on the Shiv and it's good, but I still get issues around 40-50 miles. The problem, of course, is that the higher end bike seats cost several hundred dollars and that just gets prohibitively expensive to try a bunch of different seats before you finally find one that works really well.

Then again, part of my problem is simply physiological. I am arthritic in my hips. Something that can happen with arthritis, which is something I'm dealing with, is the growth of osteophytes (bone spurs) around the acetabulum (hip socket) that result in a focused pressure point on the iscial tuberocity ("sit bones"), rather than spreading the load down the length of the bones. I may end up having to relent and fit one of those super cushy "mom" saddles on my bike just to make the 112 miles.

As for your SuperTeams, I would probably just run those on the tri bike. 50s are a really good all-around size. I see people with them at my events, never seen a failure due to the wheel itself. As for deep wheels, I would only caution you that they can be a handful on windy days. The front, moreso than the back. I am currently looking to purchase a shallower wheel set for another bike, but intend to use the shallow front on the Shiv any time I race on a windy day. Cross winds can make the front end feel very nervous and it can be quite unsettling.
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Old 05-07-24, 07:44 AM
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Such good information! Thank you guys. I look forward to reading this each day. I emailed the seller about the bike, but so far no response. So I have been checking around different sites for bikes, Craigs List, Offer up, local classifieds. I don't have Facebook, so the FB Marketplace is not available to me. Any other sites to possibly check out?
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Old 05-07-24, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TXRunner78
Such good information! Thank you guys. I look forward to reading this each day. I emailed the seller about the bike, but so far no response. So I have been checking around different sites for bikes, Craigs List, Offer up, local classifieds. I don't have Facebook, so the FB Marketplace is not available to me. Any other sites to possibly check out?
Maybe just here or other similar websites. I think ArgoMan mentioned Slowtwitch. I've seen quite a few tri bikes move through there. Of course, quite a few relative to the traffic on that site. I'm not afraid to expand my search too. Living in Southern Nevada, there is a very small pool of triathletes so there's just not a big market here. I often shop Phoenix and SoCal on Craigslif. It puts me out about 400 miles but you never know what you might find. That Shiv I posted, I picked up in San Diego a few months back. I would drive 400 miles no question to pick up that bike for what I paid.
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Old 05-08-24, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
Maybe just here or other similar websites. I think ArgoMan mentioned Slowtwitch. I've seen quite a few tri bikes move through there. Of course, quite a few relative to the traffic on that site. I'm not afraid to expand my search too. Living in Southern Nevada, there is a very small pool of triathletes so there's just not a big market here. I often shop Phoenix and SoCal on Craigslif. It puts me out about 400 miles but you never know what you might find. That Shiv I posted, I picked up in San Diego a few months back. I would drive 400 miles no question to pick up that bike for what I paid.
I will check Slowtwitch also. I live in The Woodlands, TX, where IM Texas is, and where there is a ton of bikers. I figured there would be plenty of bikes in local ads. But not really for the riding population. I think I may have found another bike though on OfferUp. Just waiting for a reply from the seller. I will post some details later when I can jump on my computer.
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Old 05-08-24, 10:46 PM
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A lot of it is just having patience. Easy for me to say as I trip over half a dozen bikes in my garage. Good deals do pop up but you have to be prepared to wait for the right deal to come along.
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Old 05-09-24, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen




If you haven't ridden a tri bike much, it's going to take some getting used to. It's also a matter of tweaking the fit to suit you. That bike, the way it was designed and in it's current set up, is a little old school "go low to go fast" mindset. Which can be true, but can also be unbearable for long duration. Don't be afraid to relax the position a little. You may not be as fast at peak, but you can hold longer in a slightly more relaxed position.
agree

a close friend custom built and also maintained a number of bikes for triathletes - including women (and small women)

still recall the back and forth on geometry and position

the fastest bike / position (for shorter durations) was not always ideal - in fact many if not most times was less than ideal - often due to pain, injuries etc

need a good setup to be able to perform the significant amount of required training
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Old 05-10-24, 10:11 AM
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Well it looks like I am going to give up on the Specialized bike. I have messaged the seller three times about the bike. His profile says he has been on Craigslist several times since sending the original message and the listing has been updated since then. I found a Cervelo P2C that is listed for $500 but had no size listed. I messaged the seller. After a few days he responded back to me and said he had no idea what size frame it was. So I asked him what his height was and how the bike fit for him. No reply so far. He did tell me he received a lot of messages about the bike. I am guessing this one is going to fizzle out also. I have expanded my searches to a 100 mile radius, but so far no luck.
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