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My Hood to Coast experience (part 2)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Being a Coastie may *sound* glamourous but, in retrospect, it was kind of like being fit and homeless with seven of your closest friends and a couple thousand of your closest competitors. But I'm going to step away from that thought and focus on the REALLY good stuff.
The way this race works, for those of you NOT in my Rookie Runner or HTC groups, is you get a team of 12 together (plus 2 drivers, plus 3 volunteers, plus -in our case- two crazy ladies that came along to do whatever we told them to do - LOVE YOU!) and split up into two vehicles. The 197 miles of HTC is divided into 36 legs, each runner doing 3 legs. Those running the first six legs of twelve go in Vehicle #1 (my van) and those running the last six go in Vehicle #2. My sub-team consisted of: Kate, Trish, Leah, Jackie, Cary and myself. (BIG SHOUT OUT TO Robin, our time keeper, Bob, our driver, and Gaye, our inner cheerleader) We ran in that order... once I completed my leg, I handed the slap-bracelet off to Maria and Vehicle #2 took over. At which point, Vehicle #1 gets to rest for a few hours, eat and dream about not living in a van. Along the way, I learned a few things that I began, mostly to keep my mind off the comforts of home, food cravings, needing to pee and the fact that I was missing my boyfriend back home (not necessarily in that order), compiling and uploading to FaceBook. These included, but are not limited to:
Rule #1 - Always check under your butt first.
Rule #2 - Slide the door lock ALL the way over in the honey buckets :)
Rule #3 - Know whether you're coming or going.
Rule #4 - If you're running downhill & you've had children Kegals & Kotex are your friends.
Rule #5 - Make sure all your gadgets are secure.
Rule #6 - Wipe before you slap :)
Rule #7 - Be careful when you ask your angels for help.
Rule #12 - You can never make too many potty breaks.
Rule #13 - Knowing which side is up is as important as knowing whether you¡¦re coming or going.

My first leg, number 6, was the longest of the three at 7.42 miles. It was deemed "hard¨ because it had"challenging uphills and gradual downhills along Highway 26 on paved shoulder¨. I began running some time after 11:00 a.m. I'm looking at the HTC legend now and it says I lost 500 feet in elevation. Huh, interesting...... see here's what I remember: screaming tractor trailers, hot sun, nice people, one lady driver that tried to take out my temporary running buddy, Christie, and I and seeing Maria waiting for me at my first "Finish¨ line. Strangely enough, I remember no rolling hills and not much of anything else...then it was time to find the team, down a chocolate milk and jump into the van to head to Kate's house. During our "break¨ (legs 7 through 12 - remember, Vehicle #2), we had the opportunity to clean up a little, do some laundry, eat a Subway sub (turkey and veggies on whole wheat -YUM!) pass out for an undermined amount of time ANNNNND get back in the van.
Want to see some more great photos? These ones were taken by Bob, our driver (packer, coffee-finder & all around good guy).

Our next legs, began in the dark. I believe that my fellow Coasties have already covered this experience rather nicely so I¡¦m going to keep this simple. For leg 18, I was glowing like a Christmas tree, running uphill for 4.15 miles. The HTC deemed this one "Hard¨ because it was a "short leg over gradual uphill terrain on paved back country roads". Yeh. I learned a couple more things on this route. The first being, when you pay $2 for a headlamp at the dollar store, you get what you pay for. Second, I run a little faster when the bushes rustle. Third, some drivers are just plain rude and/or dumb. I actually had to stop a la "deer in the headlights¨ in front of a car because he didn't dim his lights and I couldn't see where the road was ahead of me because of him. GRRR. Oh yes, short... I finished in 44:57. Jumped back in the van and nestled down for a good night's sleep - NOT. I tried to take my shoe off and caused a really nasty charlie horse in my hamstring. Good thing Trish was there and that we're really super close because the next thing I heard was "I'm taking off your pants¨. I'm not sure what magic lotion, potion or spray she used but my next recollection was of someone telling me it was time to move on to the third and final portion of Kate's run.

Stopping here because I don't know if Spark has a limit on blog size and I don't want to lose anything.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAYEMC 9/5/2010 10:07PM

    OMG, I loved the "things to remember". Something about running downhill tops it off.

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RACING4ME 9/4/2010 1:29AM

    LOLOL!!! Yeah, when I finished my first leg, all I could say was PULLLEASE!!! Depends next time:);)

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CASSIOEPIA 9/3/2010 10:25PM

    I'm glad you were there to help with the hills! I loved the lessons learned, and kept checking in on FB to see more and more.

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BOBBYD31 9/3/2010 8:40PM

    ROTFLOL you are tooo funny this is great. where is the next page?????

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ETTEZEUS 9/3/2010 6:38PM

    Nice pictures.

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LYNNANN43 9/3/2010 3:31PM

    What a GREAT read!!!

I laughed hard at rule #4. I thank the good Lord everyday that I had bladder sling surgery in April. Instead of Poise Co. becoming my best friend, I can actually run in running shorts as intended! LOL

Can't wait for the finale installment!

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JOPAPGH 9/3/2010 2:36PM

    Great read Penny!

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IPA-RAY 9/3/2010 2:22PM

    I had no idea how MUCH,MUCH,VERY MUCH easier it was being a Ghostie than a Coastie until I started reading these Blogs. And I'm pretty sure the combined time of the Coasties was faster than that of the Ghosties.

But yinz were running way downhill at the start.

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MIAMIA7 9/3/2010 2:09PM

    So cool! O.K. Ready for another installment!

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TRUEART2 9/3/2010 11:05AM

    "Being a Coastie may *sound* glamourous but, in retrospect, it was kind of like being fit and homeless with seven of your closest friends and a couple thousand of your closest competitors." - isn't that the truth!?! Somehow it is all worth it and makes you want to do it again! Miss you already! Why aren't we doing a relay this weekend? LOL

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RDARLING 9/3/2010 10:06AM

    **GIGGLES** all around! Loved LOVED LOVED rule #4! How true it is!

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DDHEART 9/3/2010 9:30AM

    OMG! Thanks for the laughs this morning....sorry for your having to learn the lessons that made me laugh but it doesn't take too much imagination to know how you learned them emoticon Now, I said it on facebook when you posted it don't have to have had children to know about the value of super absorbancy!!!

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KEAKMAN 9/3/2010 9:12AM

    Penny, it's like I was there with you! Great blog, and I love knowing what prompted those important things to remember. Sorry about the rude drivers - wish they weren't but gotta deal with 'em. Glad none caused you lasting physical harm!

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TORTUETOO 9/3/2010 8:24AM

    I'm taking off your pants...LOL. Things you only trust to fellow runners emoticon

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DREBENEZER 9/3/2010 7:43AM

    She stops just as the story is getting good!! Can't wait to read the finale!! Great job!

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ONE*BUSY*MOM 9/3/2010 2:46AM

    Loved reading about your experience. Sounds like it was great!

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RACING4ME 9/3/2010 2:07AM

    Girlfriend....I'm so glad we are close as well:) Talked to my RMT today, and he was super proud that I paid attention when he was muscle stripping my hamstring (I told him I did it with you, and he was in awe).

We had sooo much fun, and will most definitely do more runs:)

Love ya,

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    Awesome blogs Penny! I'm giggling in all the right places and I *loved* your pics. Isn't Oregon gorgeous?!??!!?

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My Hood to Coast Experience 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My journey to Oregon began on Wednesday. I hopped a plane at 13:00 from Calgary and set off to meet, for the very first time, my teammates from “Sparkin’ Hood to Coast”. With the exception of one, RACING4ME/Trish, I’d only ever spoken to these people online. Strangely enough, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be.
My first meet-up was with KAYAKID/Mike at the airport. I didn’t have any trouble picking him out of the crowd of people waiting. He looks exactly like he does in every one of his pictures, right down to the infectious smile. Once I’d collected my luggage, we set off to see the sights a little. We had some time to kill before picking up Trish from the same airport. He took me to Vista House on Crown Point overlooking the Gorge, Wakeena Falls and Multnomah Falls… we hiked in .2 mile increments. This gave me a chance to shake out the muscles after sitting on the plane for over an hour and a half and it also gave Mike and I a chance to bond a little more. After all, we’d be spending a LOT of time together in the next few days.

Then it was back to PDX to pick up Trish. I was pretty excited and had decided that I was going to let Mike see if he could pick her out of the crowds… and then I messed it up when she waved (I waved back & blew it LOL). From there, we headed off to the the hotel and Red Robin. Let me tell you this: their onion rings ROCK! (and that’s all I’m going to say about that). Except that I also got to meet KEAKMAN/Kate and KGPOSSIBLE/Kim that night for the first time. So far, so good… there didn’t seem to be a psychopath or serial killer amongst the new faces.
Thursday was another full day of new faces and “real” names. The girls from California arrived (SPRING4FAL/Leah, GLOBE_TREKKER/Maria & MISSJCISRUNNING /Jackie) and our favourite Texan joined us (SP_COACH_NANCY). Finally, FUDTRISHA/Jyll, BEANCOUNTER/Polly and TRUEART2/Cary. Somewhere along the way, GAYEMC/Gaye and KASHMIR/Robin made it into the mix.

I have to admit, between the time when I woke up and the time that we started decorating the vans, it’s a blur. A big, EXCITING blur…. Oh wait! Trish, Mike, Nancy and I did a 5 km walk/run/stroll that day… that’s why – everything’s blocked out by runner’s brain! I *DO* remember fresh fruit and baked ziti and an amazing send off speech/pep talk from one half of our fearless leaders. Here it is in her words..

No dry eyes after that one, let me tell ya!
Friday, omigosh, the day started at 2:50 a.m. and if you know me… I mean REALLY know me, you know that I don’t do mornings unless they happen after 11:00 a.m. BUT the alarm went off, I bounced out of bed and found some breakfast so that we could start the 2.5 hour drive up to the top of Mt. Hood. Good news: we found Starbucks! Bad news…. I was sitting in a van and I had just found Starbucks AND I was already super-excited about everything. No worries though, Kate made good use of my excess energy by making me run from the registration line to the van a bunch of times.. “we need to show a safety vest”, “they need to see our blinky lights”, “no, they need to see TWO blinky lights”…. It was around about this time that I discovered Brock from Gresham
I don’t know anything else about him except he donned two OfficeMax “197” temporary tattoos in lieu of nip guards AND he didn’t seem to mind that I was about to make him famous for it. One last team photo, this time of "Van 1", and Kate was off to start the Hood To Coast.
(to be cont’d)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAYEMC 9/3/2010 7:45PM

    OK, I don't know how I missed this, but what a good read! A week ago today Kate was getting ready to run across the bridge into downtown Portland. I was having a quick nap before I met you folks in the industrial area. It's another beautiful sunny day here, but 87 out. Good thing the race wasn't this weekend!

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MIAMIA7 9/3/2010 2:02PM

    Ooo...oooo going to the next blog/part!

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ONE*BUSY*MOM 9/3/2010 2:45AM

    Wow, sounds like fun! Thanks for telling us about it.

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2WHEELER 9/2/2010 10:06PM

    Wish I had been there.

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DREBENEZER 9/2/2010 9:37PM

    To be continued??? Let's hope this isn't the season cliffhanger!!

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BOBBYD31 9/2/2010 9:16PM

    ok that was not nice i thought i was going to read a book then to be continued????? you kidding me

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ROBBIEMARIE 9/2/2010 5:51PM

    Loving reading all the blogs from this exciting time! I'm dreaming of next year and an old lady from Ohio being there.....

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LYNNANN43 9/2/2010 11:17AM

    I haven't met a psychopath or serial killer SPer yet either:D


P.S. Love the pics of the pre-race hike:)

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GIGI1222 9/2/2010 11:07AM

    Thanks for sharing. I have been living through all of your blogs on the fun!!

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RDARLING 9/2/2010 10:59AM

    Penny- I can't WAIT to hear the rest. Your blog is FANTASTIC! It is super fun to meet Sparkers in person- and that group in PDX is FABULOUS (just wish I could have met Kate)!

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JOPAPGH 9/2/2010 10:48AM

    Nice start to your story Penny!

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DDHEART 9/2/2010 10:33AM

    Loved this! Your pictures are fantastic and I had to laugh when I read "there didn’t seem to be a psychopath or serial killer amongst the new faces." You know that's because those qualities were reserved for the Ghosties!! LOL well maybe not but "crazies" yes! LOL

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GEOGIRL 9/2/2010 10:13AM

  Sounds like an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing!

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KEAKMAN 9/2/2010 9:39AM

    Great start to your story! We need to pull all of these together and make a Sparkin' Hood to Coast book complete with pics. Maybe next year we can get you in van 2 - no wait, then you have to get up early and run....sorry, no way to avoid early mornings with HTC! (and thanks for running errands for me!)

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ETTEZEUS 9/2/2010 8:46AM

    Excellent start! Looking forward to more!

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KASHMIR 9/2/2010 8:24AM

    Love it!!! Can't wait to read more of your impressions of the weekend.

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CASSIOEPIA 9/2/2010 8:11AM

    "So far, so good… there didn’t seem to be a psychopath or serial killer amongst the new faces." I loved it! Although it would seem safe enough, ya never know!

Thank you for your blog. I was seriously thinking I was going to have to start prodding those Canadian girls to get a move on with the blogging! LOL. Keep the chapters coming - hate to say I was wrong, but I think I'm actually enjoying all the stories better that way.

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GLOBE_TREKKER 9/2/2010 1:50AM

    Love the blog! And well, I can't say it enough "I love Hot Brock too!" hahahaha. So much fun meeting you and getting to know you :)

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RACING4ME 9/2/2010 1:47AM

    Omygoodness...our blogs are going to be HUGE:) I haven't had time to get mine done:) NICE pics hon!!

Love ya!

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208 but ...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tonight I ran 5 hills with my HM clinic. That's a total of 4 kms going up and down the 400 metre hill (see I *can* do math) . I only walked a little up hill on one because my pre-run meal was threatening to make me exercise the 2-metre rule. BLEH! Anyway! Those are done and now I get to look forward to Sunday's LSD: 14 kms.
I didn't even consider a gym visit tonight. I DID, however, print out the schedules for the four locations of GoodLife that are closest to me. Progress? If I cannot make it to the class I want, I'll go and make up my own routine on the strength training circuit. I guess that's one of the benefits to having been a personal trainer, I have all of these routines in my head. I just have to be brave enough to use them on myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



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SAMMYSWEETPEA 8/12/2010 12:44PM

    Good job Penny!

Gawd, I can't imagine running 14k. It's a long way off for me.

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ONE*BUSY*MOM 8/12/2010 12:42PM

    Ha ha, I didn't know about the 2 metre rule, but I'm not a runner! Thanks for the smile, Penny.

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RUNNINGWILD 8/12/2010 10:34AM

    The two metre rule: if you MUST get sick while out on a training run, move two metres from the pathway first. Basically, absolutely no barfing on the trail =)

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KEAKMAN 8/12/2010 8:01AM

    #1 - HOORAY for the hill work! (hills are all I have around here!)

#2 - forgive my ignorance...what is the 2 metre rule????

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TURTLERAE55 8/12/2010 1:30AM

    You can do it!!!!!!

Keep up the good work.

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Since August 1st

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Since August first, I've gained 3.5 pounds. I have had four gold stars for meeting my calorie goals. For the week ending August 7, I missed my calories burned goal by 490 because "all" I did were my three scheduled runs (138 minutes). I KNOW, it was better than nothing but better than nothing did not stop the weight gain. I'm bummed out.
So I'm asking to be held accountable. I have three "free" days to make it to the gym this week. I'd like to make it there at LEAST once. If, by Saturday, I do not post that I've been I'd like the pointy boot.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASSIOEPIA 8/11/2010 9:27AM

    I won't be around much this weekend (again), so here's my 'boot' today! BTW - love the background page picture. Is that from Drumheller?

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KEAKMAN 8/11/2010 8:12AM

    Can it also be what you are eating? (salty foods) ORRRRRR that you are not eating enough to cover all of that activity? Or are you taking any new meds, or a lot of ibuprofen? Sounds a little impossible that you have consumed over 12,000 calories more than you need to maintain in 10 days - that's 1200 per day. Sounds a bit off to me.....

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"Create a blog entry"

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I've been staring at this on my start page for over a month.. I've *wanted* to write a blog, I just haven't known what to write about. Nothing is really new, per se, though a lot has changed in the last couple months. I'm training for a half marathon - not new, I do this every 16-18 weeks. On the other hand, this time I'm going to go to Victoria in October, not Kelowna. I have a different position in my company - not *really* new because a couple years ago I was the receptionist. This time though, I'm a /coordinator instead of a /billing clerk.

And then there's Paul/PEHASS2 emoticon He's not new but we're definitely taking things to a new level. We spend even more time together, talk more about what the future holds and generally just enjoy. I've finally found someone willing to share every part of my life and with whom I can be me. The real me. Know what I mean? I think he may even like my kids, my dog and my cats..... though he *could* be just faking that, I suppose. Nah, no one is THAT good of an actor. The best part is: the kids, the dog and the cats like him right back. He fits in here. No major adjustments required. And that suits me just fine.

**ETA** Countdown to Hood to Coast = 19 days! But there are only 17 until I'm standing in the Portland airport!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONE*BUSY*MOM 8/10/2010 2:21PM

    I'm so glad you're at such a good place in your life. You deserve it! Thanks for the update on how things are going for you.

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ETTEZEUS 8/9/2010 1:03PM

    I'm so happy for you!
And enjoy HTC!!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 8/8/2010 11:42PM

    Aw, you & Paul are so cute together. And your boys are adorable. I didn't know they were yours when I first met them at the RR the other day. I just thought they were great kids who were very encouraging to everyone they passed. Each time I got a high 5, it put a big smile on my face. It made the lake feel a bit smaller and I wasn't feeling as sore as I was.

And as a divorce kid, I can tell you that my brother & I were pretty tough customers as far as liking anyone our parents dated. Kids (and pets) are way better judges of character than we give them credit for. So the fact that your kids & pets like Paul says a lot about him I think.


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BOBBYD31 8/8/2010 10:43PM

    sounds like things are very good!

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CASSIOEPIA 8/8/2010 10:20PM

    This blog is just fine Penny! Sounds like things are moving along in the right directions! I'm cheering you on for the HTC - WOOHOO!!!

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DREBENEZER 8/8/2010 8:39PM

    It's great when life goes in the right direction!! Congrats! Good luck in your training!

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MIAMIA7 8/8/2010 8:10PM

    Ha Penny...I was thinking this exact same thing today while watching Bobby ride in circles at the tri. I need to write a blog. But about what? Hmmm. Perhaps I can come up with something. Just as you did. And isn't it nice to say nothing really that new is going on. Because sometimes something new sometimes means "not good". So glad things are good!

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RUNNINGWILD 8/8/2010 8:08PM

    Kate, that is FREA-KY!!- I was editing my post when you posted....
Comethealth - "half" marathon... 13.1 miles or 21.1 kms. I'm not mentally committed to doing a full just yet.

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KEAKMAN 8/8/2010 8:05PM

    Sounds like life is good....I am happy for you!

And don't forget, you run HTC in less than three weeks!!

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COMETHEALTH 8/8/2010 8:02PM

    Sounds like everything is just great. Good luck :) I wish I could run a marathon

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