Happy 2016 – and happy training for great racing!

Best wishes to all past competitors at the National Aquathon Championships for the training and racing for the 2016 season!
2015 splashing

We’ve taken some time off from hosting Ireland’s national event, and wish Olympian Tri Club, based in Mourne, Co Down the best in organising and hosting!

Looking forward to it.

See you all soon!



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Congratulations, well done and thank you!

Well now … that was spectacular! The wind and the waves, and the spirit and the committment!

2015 long course in

2015 splashing

Salthill was invaded by an army of triathletes on Saturday afternoon, from across the island of Ireland, with their sights set on competing at the 5th Galway Triathlon Club Aquathon Festival featuring the National Long Course Aquathon Championships, the Children’s National Aquathon Championships and the Standard sprint event on the day. Athletes swam and ran their way over varying distances in Galway Bay and on the prom to eventually cross the finish line in Celia Davin Park on Grattan Road.

There was a ‘no swim ban’ and the pending weather which called the Race Committee, headed by Brian Clancy, to switch to their contingency plans: the ban was lifted the morning of the race, but the 1km race course was confirmed for all senior events.

There was great excitement in the featured race of the day the National Long Course Championships where Go Tri Racing’s Limerick based athletes Rory Sexton and Carolyn Hayes, retured to defend their titles, and did so by storming to victory over the shortened 1k Swim and 10k Run, from Palmer’s Rock to Grattan Beach. The conditions really pushed all competitors to test their fitness, strength and determination – second place went to Kieran Jackson and third to Bernard McDonagh. Seventh out of the water and first lady finisher Carolyn Hayes raced very well, with a real tustle for second and third spot by Lisa Horgan and Kirsty McIlwaine.

Ruaidhri Geraghty was the first local man home, with Art Naughton and Arthur Beades finishing the first three Galway Triathlon Club men home. The GTC ladies’ top finishers also put in great effort: well done to Miriam Wall, Sue Redmond and Ruth Staunton.

The Standard event of a 1km Swim and 5k run held earlier in the day was just as exciting as Shane Dunne exited the water first, but was run down by the eventual winner of the men’s race Cillian Tierney who exited the water second. Second place on the day went to Joseph Tannion from Predator Triathlon Club (up the road in Loughrea) with Luke McCarron taking 3rd place in the event.

The Women’s Standard race saw Niamh Corry defend her title to take the top podium spot, second place went to Elaine Yelverton, and Becky Coughlan rounding off the podium on the day. Fastest GTC Athletes to cross the finish line in the Standard race were Mark Rafferty and Marie Shiel.

The National Children’s Aquathon returned to Galway for the third time where over 110 brave young athletes from across the county and country raced at super sprint swim and run distances. There was great excitement from the crowd as the young athletes crossed the finish line much to their delight and that of the gathered crowd.
2015 children racing

2015 children up beach

Galway Triathlon Club would like to thank all athletes, volunteers, marshals, sponsors, supporters council officials, gardaí, Triathlon Ireland and all those who involved in the event for their involvement in this year’s event! Without the support of the local business and triathlon community we would not be in a position to host this hugely successful event and for this we are very grateful. A real word of thanks to the Water Support Teams on the day – Rusheen Bay windsurfing, Paddy, Mike and Ciaran, Galway Sea Scouts, NUIG Kayak Club and Predator Tri Club.
2015 kayakers getting tea

2015 kayakers waves

Please have a look at Galway Aquathon Festival Facebook for hundreds of photographs covering the racing and spirit of the day.
2015 supporters

Comments, and queries about Lost and Found to galwayaquathon@gmail.com

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New long course swim map

New Swim MapHere is the updated plan for the National Championship long course swim route.

See you tonight from 6.30 – 9.00 for registration in Lohan’s of Salthill, or tomorrow for registration (10.00 – 11.15) at the Marquee at Race HQ, and then later for a great day’s racing!

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Here we go …

All of us here at Galway Triathlon Club are looking forward to hosting you this weekend for our annual club race and for The National Aquathon Championships, Long Course, Childrens and Junior races. Attached is the Athlete Briefing for our Race. Please read it carefully.

See you all at the weekend.

Dear Athletes,
We hope your preparations are going well and look forward to welcoming you to the 2015 Galway Aquathon. We would like to bring the following specific details to your attention, please familiarise yourself with the information below.
Registration for ALL races opens at 6.30pm and closes at 9pm and will be held at Lohan’s Bar, Salthill on Friday the 10th of July.
For those athletes arriving from out of the city, you may request to register between 10 – 11.15 am on Saturday the 11th of July at the Marquee at Grattan Beach. Due to time constraints to register at this time you MUST email (galwayaquathon@gmail.com) a request to do so prior to the event.

IMPORTANT: Please bring your 2015 photo ID Triathlon Ireland (TI) membership card with you on race day. If you don’t have a full TI membership card with you on the day you can buy a one day licence (ODL) for the Aquathon Race on the Triathlon Ireland website before the race. You will NOT be allowed to race without a licence. Print or electronic evidence is sufficient. All competitors (adult/child) need a TI membership or ODL.
Parents / guardians will be required to sign a waiver/ consent form, for all Child competitors.

Transition opens from 10.00am and closes at 11.45am sharp.
Only those with competitor wristbands will be allowed into transition.
No bags will be permitted in Transition. Please be mindful of other athletes in transition when setting up your gear and changing from Swim to Run.

Wetsuits are mandatory for all athletes regardless of age or swim proficiency. Racing with booties will not be allowed.
All athletes will be provided with a specific swim hat that must be worn for the Swim – the hat you are given MUST be worn for that race. Incorrect hat = no race.
When exiting transition for the run course, your race number must be visible and worn to the front.

In the water, if you are experiencing any difficulty, lie on your back and raise your hand in the air. A kayak will come over to you as soon as possible. Gently grasp on to the board, or the bow ball while you gather yourself. If you feel you cannot continue, the kayaker will make arrangements for you to be assisted by the boat. If you do not complete the swim, make your way as soon as you can to the finish line marshal and report your number. You may continue on the run course and complete the race (if you were not pulled from the water for medical reasons) and receive a finish time but you will not get an official place.
For the National Championship/Long Course, if you do not pass the half-way point at 35mins, you will be pulled from the water and taken to the beach. A note will be made of your number. At this point, you may continue on the run course and complete the race (if you were not pulled from the water for medical reasons) and receive a finish time but you will not get an official place.

Parking will not be available at the race start. Please park legally in and around the Promenade and walk to Grattan Beach. Please park respectfully and be mindful for local residents when parking. You will need to leave PLENTY of time to find parking and make your way to Grattan Beach. Below please find a link to the Galway City Council information with regards to parking.

Marshals and volunteers have given up their weekend to assist with making your race as safe and enjoyable as possible. Please note that any abuse of the marshals or volunteers will be viewed in the strictest manner and will result in an automatic DQ for the offending athlete. Any comments or queries can be discussed with the Race Director and Technical Officials at the end of the race.
Please follow the instructions of marshals at all times

Littering of any kind on the race route will not be tolerated. Please do not drop empty gel sachets on the road. Plenty of black bags will be provided along the course for rubbish disposal
On the run course, you will be using a public access pathway, so particularly around the water stations, please be aware of littering and discard your water bottles or cups as close to the bins as possible.

This is a National Championship event, please note that parents/ guardians and youth competitors will be expected to act accordingly and obey the requests and instructions of marshals at all times.
The child must have turned the appropriate age for that group by 31 December 2015

Ages 8 and 9 – born years 2006 and 2007 100m Swim, 800m Run
Ages 10 and 11 – born years 2004 and 2005 200m Swim, 2.0km Run
Ages 12 and 13 – born years 2002 and 2003 300m swim, 2.5km Run
Ages 14 and 15 – born 2000 and 2001 400m swim, 2.85km run

Registration: 6-9pm 18th of July, Lohans Bar, Salthill.
Race Briefing: Grattan Beach 12pm for all Youth Athletes

Race Start: 12.00 pm in 10 minute intervals starting with the 8 – 9yrs (2006, 2007)
12.10pm – 10 – 11yrs (2004, 2005)
12.20 pm – 12 – 13yrs (2002, 2003)
12.30 pm – 14 – 15yrs (2000, 2001)

Parents Please Note: For the safety and smooth running of the National Youth Championships there is to be NO parental interaction with athletes beyond the racing line at any stage (swim, transition or on the run course). Please adhere to the requests of the race marshals at all times during the race.
Last year we had keen Mummies and Daddies obstructing other competitors – and we hope that will not happen again: it is neither fun nor fair! It may be worth while practising transition with your child prior to race day. Marshals will be able to help competitors if necessary in transition, but no parental assistance will be tolerated.
The Finish Zone is an athlete ONLY area, please do not enter the athlete only area looking for your young athletes as this will cause congestion on the day. This area will be strictly marshalled. Please arrange to meet your child at the Finish Zone.
There is no child changing facilities at the marquee.

Details: 1000m swim, 5km Run
Swim from Palmers Rock to Grattan Beach, Run 5km over 2 loops of South Park and Grattan Rd finishing the final/second loop under the finish gantry.
Water station will be provided on the route at South Park.
Race Briefing: 12.50 pm Palmer’s Rock
Race Start: 13.00 pm Palmer’s Rock
THERE WILL BE NO BAG DROP FOR THIS RACE – a box will be available for your water bottles and flip flops ONLY. Remember to collect these from the Registration Tent at the end of your race.
NO additional water will be provided at the start of the race so you need to be responsible for making sure you are well hydrated – take your own water / fluids with you. There will be a water station on the run course and at the finish line.
Please ensure you take enough time to get to the start. Allow 15-20mins to walk up to the start.

Details: 2,000m Swim, 10km Run
Swim from Blackrock to Grattan Beach, Run 10km over 4 loops of South Park and Grattan Rd – finishing the final fourth loop under the finish gantry. Water station will be provided on the route and at the finish line.
Buses will be provided from Grattan Beach to Blackrock for the long course 12.30 – 13.20 pm. Athletes have the option of walking (allow 40 mins) to the race start but you must be in Blackrock for mandatory briefing at 13.50pm. Buses start from 12.30pm and the LAST BUS is 13.20 pm.
Race Briefing: 13.50 am at Blackrock Diving Board
Race Start: 14.00 am at Blackrock Diving Board
No additional water will be provided at the start of the race so you need to be responsible for making sure you are well hydrated – take your own water / fluids with you. There will be water on the run course and at the finish line.
A bag drop will be provided in Blackrock ‘at the wall’ for any athletes who wish to avail of it. Labels will be provided for bags at Registration where you can take a sticker, mark the bag with your race number, and then YOU are responsible for leaving it in the van at Blackrock before you make your way down to the briefing area. Bags can be collected at the Registration tent, post race. Small bags only please.
For the National Championship/Long Course SWIM -If you do not pass the half-way point at 35mins, you will be pulled from the water and taken to the beach. A note will be made of your number. At this point, you may continue on the run course and complete the race (if you were not pulled from the water for medical reasons) and receive a finish time.

Relay Teams made up of Swimmer and Runner: Swim 2k, Run 10k
One member of the team is required to have a TI Licence or ODL racing licence, preferably the swimmer.
Swimmers meet the runners in Transition area. Runners wait at designated point in transition for swimmer to hand over timing chip. All other information regarding the registration, race route, briefings for relay athletes is the same as the individual long course information.

Post Race there will be light refreshments available in the Marquee. All Athletes must show red wristband to access post-race refreshment area. Please do not remove your wristband at any stage during the day.

Youths will be presented with medals at the finish line. There will be trophies for the age group winners, as per National Championship requirements from Triathlon Ireland.
Prize giving for all races will commence at 16.30 pm at the finish area.

Showers after the race have been kindly provided at Ocean Fitness, one of our generous Aquathon sponsors.

Post Race party is at Lohans Bar Salthill at 830pm. Check Galway Aquathon Festival on Facebook for the Eventbrite link to RSVP to this party!
Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday! Remember to be safe, enjoy the race and smile at the photographers dotted all around the course! Any queries can be directed to galwayaquathon@gmail.com.

GTC Aquathon Festival Committee 2015
Email: galwayaquathon@gmail.com
Web: www.galwayaquathon.com

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6 days and counting …

6 days to go

Well, the final week has dawned and preparations are well underway to welcome hundreds of athletes from ages 8 to 80 to Saltill for a wonderful day of racing!

Again, just to note no registration or licence available for purchase on the day – all of this MUST be done before Friday when Race Entry via TI closes. We have over 200 competitors registered, with more registrations coming in each day! Each of the 2014 winners are returning to defend their titles.

A big big thank you to all the volunteers and the race committee for their diligence and organisation, and especially in this final week of checking lists for registration, swim, run course and of course the finish line.

All Athletes, Marshalls and Supporters are welcome to join us at Lohan’s pub, Salthill Village for post-race snacks and chat and a drink. Please RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/aquathon-festival-2015-post-race-party-tickets-17525961623?utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=eventurl_text

Soon to follow will come the Athletes’ Briefing – please read this carefully. The usual information is there: registration times for all athletes on the Friday night, the VERY limited registration on the Saturday, the transition times and rules, the swim courses, and the run courses – there has been a slight route change so keep an eye out for this. Also watch out for race refreshment information, change facilities and toilets. There are also some rules on penalties included – this is a TI sanctioned event, and a National Championship event so be aware of what you can and cannot do.

A big thank you to all our sponsors for helping to make this a super day … the sun is shining, the water is warm, the medals are polished … Are you ready to come and race the returning champions?
podium and ribbon

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Less than 2 weeks!

Less than 2 weeks to go, and the organisation and the sea is hotting up, ready to welcome hundreds of athletes to Salthill in July 11th.

Remember we have races for children: various swim and run distances for ages 8+9, 10+11, 12+13, 14+15.
We have a new race – National Championship for 16+17yrs olds within the Standard / Sprint race.
The Standard / Sprint race of 1km swim and 5km run for all who are 16 or older on 31 December 2015.
And the jewel in the Festival Crown, the Long Course of 2km swim and 10km run for all who are 18years or older on 31 December 2015.

Please ensure that you are registered online with Triathlon Ireland, and that you have the correct racing licence through TI – no licencing will be available for purchase on the day!

Our Top Tip Series continues: Part 3 today …
– Buy tinted goggles, just in case the sun comes out! Do not use ‘Swedish’ style goggles in case you get a knock to the eye. Use a pair that you have tried before, that are comfortable and have good peripheral vision in open water.

– At the Galway Aquathon you will be counted into the water by race volunteers, once you get in fix any last minute adjustments to your hat, goggles and suit so that you are comfortable. Swim in a relaxed way over toward the start-line and then do some fast 10sec starts at speed. This is just to switch you on, and trigger muscle activation. Keep moving to warm up but don’t drift too far from the start-line.

– If you are a confident swimmer and familiar with swimming in a bunch then you’ll know that a the ‘hot-spots’ of the race pack will be at the front middle of the pack in line with the most direct route to transition. If you are not comfortable swimming in a group or a less confident swimmer then I suggest moving to the peripheries or the back of the pack. When the horn/whistle goes really push, go out hard. Kick your legs fast and use power strokes to get you up out of the thickness of the pack. This is the same action taken if you come together with a pack at a buoy, do not stop!

– The swim route is in the shape of a ‘dog-leg’. There are big buoys marking the route which you will keep to your left (check this before starting), also there will be paddle-borders/kayaks and a rescue boat close-by as well as marking the line.

See you all soon!

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Tick, tick, tick – 3 weeks to go!


The countdown continues to the 5th Galway Aquathon Festival on Saturday 11th July – are you registered?
We’re looking forward to seeing you for the standard distance of 1km swim from Palmers Rock to Grattan Beach, or for the the National Championship Long course of 2km swim and 10km run from the iconic Blackrock Diving Boards to Grattan Beach… with the run of laps down towards historic Claddagh and back, with a red carpet finish!


Part 2 of the Top Tips for preparation for the race include:
– Don’t get into your wetsuit too early, especially if its a hot day, you’ll sweat and feel uncomfortable. Leave it about 20mins before entering the water to get into your suit.

– Roll your wetsuit on inch by inch. Be gentle with neoprene, its easily ripped. Make sure that the suit is well up on your hips and shoulder and have full range of movement at these joints. This is a good time to do some shoulder stretches and pre-swim activation exercises. Squeeze out any air so that the suit is stuck to the skin and to avoid air pockets. Make sure your wetsuit zip is fastened correctly, and can grab to remove it without it getting caught in your tri-suit underneath. Otherwise you are going to have a lengthy tangle in transition!

– Use Vaseline on your neck line to avoid chaffing. Chaffing in sea swims is often worse due to the saltwater. Vaseline your elbows and ends of your legs so that the wetsuit slips off. Make sure to wipe your hands free of the Vaseline before touching your goggles.

– You’ll be given a specific hat for the swim, but I suggest wearing a second silicon hat underneath. Typically the water is quite cool for the Galway Aquathon, and the second hat will help with warmth but also serves as a back-up if the race hat slips off.


Remember, all race entries and racing licences via the Triathlon Ireland website. We look forward to welcoming you all – from ages 8 to 80 (now, that would be impressive!) – to Salthill in July!

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Four Weeks to go!

4 weeks to go runner

4 weeks to go until the horn blows to start the racing, 5 years to celebrate of racing here at the Galway Aquathon Festival … and as they say you’ve got to be in it, to win it!

The weekly sea swims and the daily reports from the locals who follow the Daily Dip ritual report a warming sea temperature and are already talking about coming along to watch and support the event! There’s a special group that view the iconic Blackrock diving boards as part of their own, and so it is lovely to share the excitement with them.

At the Standard / Sprint course start at Palmer’s Beach, there is much more of a family feel as the sandy beach beckons children to stand and gawp at the slick wetsuits diving in and rhythmically splash-splash-splash the arms … plus the views from the sea of the Salthill Prom are just fabulous!

And in keeping with the theme, we have PART 1 of a 4-part Top Tip series, courtesy of a former National Champion on the Long course here, Lynne Algar. Lynne is currently employed by Triathlon Ireland as a High Performance Coach and Performance Manager based in Limerick. She is working with a number of National U23 Male and Junior Athletes. Through TI she is also employed as a tutor on the National Council for Exercise and Fitness Courses. As well as this, Lynne is the Head Coach for Limerick Triathlon Club, and adding her MSc in Exercise Physiology she has recently completed her PhD in Sports Performance … these are tips you WANT to listen to.

When planning to race the Galway Aquathon, here are some tips for race day:

1. Arrive early get your registration out of the way so you can focus and relax prior to your event.

2. Warm up in run-to-swim order. Revise the run course. Physically run a lap of the course and mentally thereafter go through every step from exiting the water to exiting transition, this is to ensure the process is automatic and you don’t loose seconds or even minutes flappin’ about in transition.

3. Throughout your warm up stay warm, and once that’s complete, set up your transition area which should include; runners,visor/sunglasses (optional), and a water-bottle (optional to rinse salt water from mouth). Using talc powder in and on the heels of your runners to help with slippage. Be mindful of where your transition slot is, identify a landmark such as a banner that will be easier to spot than your runners when running into transition. You cannot mark your transition slot with talc etc.

4. Plan your trip to the swim start-line. Depending on your race of choice, this will be at some point along the prom toward the Blackrock diving boards. The longer event starts at the diving boards. Use the shuttle bus and leave your gear bag at the bag drop, or have someone drop you to the start-line. Don’t run/walk barefoot in your wetsuit.

We are VERY happy to welcome Western Motors, Amphibian King, Ocean Fitness and the Salthill Hotel, Pure Athlete, JKTherapies, Alcom, Goodness Shakes and Smart Bars to the fold as sponsors. We have catering and medals and trophies from local guys too – a real community spirit.

And we look forward to seeing you on 11th July for a great day’s racing for children (ages 8 – 15), Juniors (16 and 17) and adults in the standard and long distances … national champions will be made!

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Eight weeks to go!

8 weeks

The Galway Triathlon Club Aquathon and National Championship Aquathon races are looking forward to hosting you in July for a great day’s racing in iconic Galway Bay. Hope all the training is progressing well and all are on track for a good race and great result! If you can all factor in some magic non-rain / warm sunny weather dancing and wishes, that would be super too!

There is an Early Bird deal for the Standard / Short course (1km swim, 5km run) so make sure you or friends / family take advantage of that. This is a perfect starter race for those who are just dipping their toes into the racing scene. Word of mouth is a very strong advertising method so get out there, and get encouraging.

The Long Course promises a great opportunity to challenge the racers over a 2km swim and 10km run. There is also a relay option for this race, but being able to compete and complete in the National Championship is a real achievement – great result to pay off of good training over the distance regularly!

We have great support for the races through our sponsors and from the sporting community locally. Once again this year, we are VERY happy to welcome Western Motors and Ocean Fitness with the Salthill Hotel, Amphibian King, and Pure Athlete back to the fold as sponsors, with a welcome new addition of JK Fitness too. Catering and treats, medals and trophies are also from local businesses and connections – a real community spirit.

The National Series Long Course is planned for racing on high tide, so there will be a great body of water and much splashing as the athletes come into Grattan Beach. The other news for the Standard Course (short course) is that you will be racing when the tide comes in, so watch for some excellent times during this event.

National Championship opportunities beckon for the athletes of the future too! As per TI regulations, an athlete’s age group is determined by the age they are as of 31st December 2015.
We have ages 8 and 9 swimming in their depth for 100m, then running 800m; ages 10 and 11 swimming 200m and running 2km; ages 12 and 13 swimming 300m and running 2.5km, and ages 14 and 15 swimming 400m and a 3km run. The National Series Children’s events were a great success last year, and breaking news – we have an additional race for the 16 and 17 year olds: there is an additional National Championship race for this age group raced within the Standard Distance of 1km swim and 5km run!

Details of the racing weekend to be finalised but this year will see registration for locals (or those making a long weekend of it!) on the Friday night in Ocean Fitness, Salthill Hotel. There will be a VERY short registration opening on the morning of the race, so please come to register the night before (if you can) or very timeously on the Saturday morning. Also, THERE WILL BE NO RACE LICENCES AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ON THE DAY, AT THE LOCATION. All valid racing licences will need to be purchased via the TI website prior to race day – NO EXCEPTIONS!





We look forward to seeing you all out West on 11th July 2015 at the Galway Aquathon racing Festival!

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Twelve weeks to go!

Twelve weeks to go to the Galway Aquathon on 11 July 2015!
Races available for children from age 8, including juniors at 16 and 17, and adults racing in the Short or Long Courses.Youth Race entering the water

An update on the Children’s Races:

Races will take place from approx 12.15 – 13.00 on the day in the following age categories:

Entry Requirements:

  • Participants must be have a TI racing licence – this can be a full racing licence through a TI affiliated Triathlon Club, or a one-day-licence available online from TI. ALL COMPETITORS MUST HAVE A RACING LICENCE FOR RACING ON THE DAY. NO LICENCES WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ON THE DAY.
  • All Athletes require parental consent forms to be signed by parents at registration.
  • It is mandatory to wear a wetsuit for the event. No exceptions.
  • All athletes must wear the swim hat issued.
  • Race distances are subject to change and will be confirmed closer to the event date.

Categories for racing on 11 July:
Children’s: Ages 16 – 17 – must be 16 or 17 by Dec 31st in the year of competition. Must be born in 1999 or 1998

Children’s: ages 14-15 on Dec 31st in the year of competition. Must be born in years 2001 or 2000

Children’s: ages 12-13 on Dec 31st in the year of competition. Must be born in years 2003 or 2002

Children’s: ages 10-11 on Dec 31st in the year of competition. Must be born in years 2005 or 2004

Children’s: ages 8-9 on Dec 31st in the year of competition. Must be born in years 2007 or 2006

All registration for the races can be made through: https://www.triathlonireland-newserver.com/local-races.html Jump

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