Apr 29

HemiHelp 10km – Sunday 19th May 2013

On Sunday 19th May 2013 we will be hosting HemiHelp’s first 10km (and 3km) fun-run in London’s Victoria Park.

You can find all the information about this event on this website designed by our great friend Jamie Currey from ‘longarm’: http://www.victoriapark10k.com/

All adults who sign-up will get one of running shirts designed by Mel and all kids can join the 3km (under 9’s need an adult to supervise)


Any questions please email david@ellisbone.com


Jul 02

Cotswold 100 – What doesn’t kill you…….

When this site title was first dreamt up we called it “Just Because Its There” and no-one could ever explain what it meant.

Having just completed our first “centurian” run as part of the 2012 Ultramarathon series in the inexplicably hilly english countryside this is exactly how I feel. There doesn’t seem to be any other reason for it.

“Rory’s Pocket”:

Having made our way up to Stratford-upon-Avon on Friday 22nd June we met our hosts Rory and Jen Coleman and the other runners whereby Rory started to tell us about the horrific weather conditions of 2011 and how we were going to be spared this trauma as a “small pocket of half-decent weather” would unduly follow us around. As we somewhat discounted this as poppy-cock we coined this pot of gold as “Rorys Pocket”

So it was time for our final picture where our innocence would be left behind and this website title would never been treated so lightly ever again:

100 Miles running Strategy:

Ok. So you’re about to run 100 miles and the organiser Rory (whose email footer tells you he is one of the most qualified ultra runners ever) says “I say this every year but no-one ever listens – PLEASE DO NOT GO OFF FAST!!”

So what are you supposed to do but crack on and complete the first 10 mile check-point in 1:40 minutes where we met Rory and he said “Boys Too Fast”. We were using the Endomodo app to track our run for family and friends http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/65706036 and it was almost as if this thing was driving us on from Checkpoint 2 to 3. We realised that we were on for a semi-decent marathon time….so rather than using this as a sign to tell us to slow down we actually kicked on and finished it circa 4:20 and immediately the banter was “how quickly do you think we’d do the second marathon”

Support Crew & Le Train:

Unlike all the other poor buggers in this crazy race we were the only ones with an elite support crew consisting of Jamie’s brother-in-law Tim driving ahead and then cycling to 5 mile split points to feed us with electrolite potions and valuable route info and Jamie’s beautiful missus Chevs who kept the spirits high when the spirits were anything but…

Just to show we were ‘affected’ and that we were the only group of 4 sticking together we would pretend to be a “train” if we saw someone up ahead and in true Ringo style would chugg our imaginary chain and make “choo-choo” noises…we should have taken this as a sign that things were not well.

Around Checkpoint 4-5 we began to realise that the early pace meant that we were in the Top 10 of the field and this more than anything became the real carrot for us just to kick-on.

At mile 40 we sprinted into Checkpoint to be greeted by a whole host of family and friends (and celebs!!)

Running Mantra:

Head is Strong – Check

Heart Muscle is Strong – Check

Body feels Strong – Check

Feet feel ^&^”*&&”_)&_”)(&()”&

Ok. So as we made our way through to the vital half-way point and the night-time adventures it was now that the first mileage and happy running mantra banter began to give way and the worry signs were going closer to the Body & Heart muscle areas!!! As we discussed at length throughout our preparation (ok I’m lying we only first chatted about it on the train up) apparently there is power in Beet-root and we needed to unlock it..

Dark Dark times:

It was never going to be easy and the wheels started to come off during the onset of the night. In all honesty the first bad patch was when I suffered from “le bonk” and drifted down towards a meeting point with Chevs where I proceeded to eat loads of junket food from the back of the car. Next thing I knew the guts were doing their own ultra and wanting me to set up regular rendez-vous in the bushes.

Mile 80:

Worst part of the whole event came at mile 80. Steve suffered a nasty blip at the checkpoint and we all agreed that we should take things extra carefully for a while to check he was ok and good to carry-on. It’s only through conversations with our brilliant support crew Tim & Chevs and only after the whole event did they tell us just how bad we really were….. at the point almost of delirium….but thankfully we were totally naive and with blissful ignorance we continued to amble./stumble through this painful section of the race

At one point were treated to the beautiful sight of sunrise over Cotswold:

The other guy with us actually was suffering so he asked to have a nap in the car to recharge his batteries (in hindsight maybe this is something we should have done)

Around mile 85 we were once again met by Tim who had kindly joined us with his bike and this time marshalled us not only on track but also at a speed that actually made us feel that we were once again going to finish this thing. PS by now the heart muscle was well and truly telling the head to give-in. Thankfully Chevs sped off to a nearby McDonalds drive through for four sugary teas.


With the wind in our sales and Tim telling us that no-one was going to overtake us now (paranoia told us that this wasn’t true) we made our way around the last five miles circumnavigating Stratford before heading into the town itself and the joy of all joys the final few yards back to the finish:

A great event and an unbelievable experience. Rory/Jen – well done to you guys and I hope this and the Ultra series goes from strength to strength:


We actually finished and incredible 6th place!!!!!!:

Some of the emails we exchanged post event which show what it meant:

James: “Indeed it was very glorious – Im amazed at how well we did, but also how well we could do if we had more time to train and actually tried to come up with a real strategy and diet that avoided pop and sausage rolls.
I agree with Rory, our team spirit makes it possible. There were times when I’m sure we all came close to calling it a day – I know I nearly puked twice at 70 and 87 miles and in my mind was thinking if I did, I wouldn’t be able to go on… but we managed to pull each other through somehow.
Despite that, I too felt remarkably well yesterday once I walked around and the initial stiffness eased off…
Well done to all – and super thanks to Tim and Chevs for once again being absolute stars, it really wouldn’t be possible without you.
We should do the whole championship next year. I reckon we’d be close to winning it.


“So much pain but so worth it
I wonder what it would take for you Jamie to look remotely in trouble
– you are a beautiful march hare
James you also looked in mighty fine form out there – quite incredible
stuff when thinking back to the Brighton marathon bud
And Stevo simply quite inspirational – not sure how you managed to dig
so deep to get those last 30 done – wish I had cried too
Let’s enjoy it over a beer soon
Maybe invite the wives to work on project Sparta!!!!
Love to Chevs and Timmy Jamie
Recover well buddies

Steve: “Chaps, A big thanks to you guys for helping to get me through it, the support from you guys and Chevs and Tim was just fantastic.
Hope you are all mending well, I feel pretty good compared to yesterday when I had to borrow some ski poles to get around.
Sorry about the tears, but you were running with a guy who cried when he watched Body Guard, so not that surprising!
Would be great to catch up over a few beers in the near future
All the best”

Jamie: “What a glorious weekend.  Not great yesterday morning, but after a couple
of warm baths Sparta feels all very do-able!!!!!!!!
Something wrong with my foot, but starting to ease nicely and thighs are
miraculously well – I am sure that muscle roller thing of yours James did
the trick there.
I loved the crying – very jealous of you Steve.
What an incredible team and that very much includes Chevs and Tim.
Superb.  100 mile run ticked off my Bucket List – just the 156 mile run
left on there!!!!!!!!

Tim: “Gentlemen,
It was a real pleasure to support you and to be able to witness such an extraordinary achievement.  However,  to see the body disintegrate so much both physically and mentally was alarming and was a clear sign to me that this was a step too far, as witnessed by all of you as you crossed the finish line saying “Never again”.  To therefore read your comments that you are seriously thinking of doing Sparta is frankly “insane and bonkers” but if asked nicely I would be prepared to take the bike to Greece to support you!!!!!!!!  Sorry Chevs!!
Well done again boys, an unbelievable achievement.
See you all soon

So what next for “Just Because Its There”……..SPARTA 2013

Jun 22

Follow us here today on the Cotswold 100 ultra

Click here to see where we are from noon onwards and check you are on today’s date 

May 13

Capital Ring Run

This post plans to serve two purposes.

One to help readers who may be planning to run the Capital Ring in the future and secondly to share some of the lighter moments of our recent assault on the Capital Ring on 5th & 6th May 2012.

Part a: Choosing the route

This wasnt necessarily straight forward as there was 4 of us (Jamie, James, Steve and David) starting and some of us  lived in different parts of London. Added to the fact that we were hoping to factor people joining us and knowing that starting at a point near a tube station would help we plumped for Highgate Station Tube where we gathered at 11:00am for our first photo

Jamie kindly used his Garmin course planner and loosely punched in the same details as this map here:


We all had garmin watches and Endemondo on smart phones to track our whereabouts, time and distance

Part B: Plan for Capital Ring:

As this was a training run for the Cotswold 100 we wanted to split the Capital run into two legs but mentally we wanted a shorter day 2. We planned to carry some stuff with us but rely upon there being an abundance of shops for refreshments. The weather was unpredictable so we were all with rain coats and spare tops. Even in May it was cold and gloves were a great help for those with cold bones.

Day 1: Highgate to Balham (42 miles 7hrs 55 mins)

First leg takes you down a fantastic tree-lined pathway, Finsbury Park, double reservoirs of Seven Sisters, Clissold Park,  through Stoke Newington village of deli’s and great coffee shops, men with amazing rolo hats, Springfield Park towards Lea Valley and the canal path. This section is well sign posted with the now familiar Green Capital ring signs and the posts with mileage to some of the main Capital Ring landmarks. (There are some good shops and loo stops in this section – dont rely on the next section if you want them)

Second leg is once again a beautiful run down the canal past Hackney Marshes and on to the start of the Olympic stadium site and the “Greenway”. As the Olympics are almost upon us it wasnt surprising that our canal route was closed and we had to find all alternative way. This was when it started to become apparent just how useful the Garmin map download was because as soon as you veered off course the map told you and you could track when you were running parallel to it or close to finding in again. The first “grim” section came when you leave the Olympic park and head further down the Greenway past Plaistow and beyond. I’d read another Capital Run post where someone had done this stretch at night. Firstly I dont know how they lived but secondly every few hundred yards there is a gate which are closed after 7pm every eve and they would have had to scale each one of these – very brave. There are a couple of lighter moments around Beckton through parks but its still not too scenic or fun until you get to the Woolwich foot tunnel. Once again its a bit of a mare following signs around here so be careful, especially where you seem to run down the side of a dis-used track next to the river and in the tunnel it feels like no-ones been down there for 30 years.

Over the river you will find a lovely toilet (use it wisely) and plenty of cheap and cheerful shops. Once again if you ignore these you may find that you travel the next 8-10 miles without anything unless you deviate from the ring!

One thing to note as you travel through the parks of Charlton and Woolwich is that there are a few killer hills in there – nothing too epic but if like us you maintain a walking only policy then you suddenly start to realise that your predicted 6-6:30 finish is going to be tested.

Second thing to note is that there is an absence of decent places to get food. We did pass through a park with a place selling carb-loaded chips and espresso but we thought (Jamie did!!) that we’d kick-on. Big mistake. First case of ‘le bonk’ definitely took effect about 5 miles later and was only saved through massive Soreen loading. We eventually found a rotten store in Mottingham where sugary lucazade stuff was consumed in volumes and we cracked on towards Crystal Palace.

Here we met our first true friendly faces of the day in the form of Mrs Holmes a.k.a Chevs and Jamie’s daughters plus Bailey le pup. Chevs has been the most amazing supporter/crew member on our long runs and once gain she came laden with chicken sandwiches, glorious sausage rolls and more sugary wonderment (plus some ibuprofen!!!).

Final stretch took us from Streatham through to Balham where we finished Day 1 with a skip and some well deserved (but obviously not too professional) pints of wheat water @ the Bedford

Day 2: Balham to Highgate 38 miles (7hrs 45 mins)

Waking up on Day 2 there were some obvious aches and pains but a huge tumbler of honeyed porridge with a sprinkling of Ibuprofen seemed enough and we headed back to Balham in some fine drizzle to be met by friends Chuggs, Jimmy & Steve all eager to do one leg and no more :)

The Balham to Richmond river via Wimbledon and Richmond Parks is the most beautiful stretch by a long-shot – its just perfect running conditions, scenery and the first 13 miles with great (rude) banter were effortless. Below you can see that we even stopped off for fabulous treats along the river @ Richmond – happy days. We said goodbye to the guys and conveniently met our big buddy Darren who planned to run all the way to the end with us.

Once you leave Richmond its stiff upper lip time as the beautiful park ways and unspoilt views are  dumped for the uglier side of London. Its all a mental state we runners know but there comes a point when the banter subsides and you’re faced with the grim reality of buckling down and grinding out some miles at which point the fact that you’re crossing the A40 and crawlng through Greenford doesnt make it any easier.

Anyway we knew we had more friends up ahead and feeling like a foody pick-me-up we decided to stop at the next available place. Well was it a miracle or a curse but the next thing we spotted were those golden arches and without much persuasion we were sat inside tucking into some more diet unfriendly burgers and frites.


Tim pictured above hadnt actually run any miles at this point so making him and family hit McDonalds first thing was  cruelty beyond words. Anyway on we trotted through other odd streets before another highlight of the ring – Harrow-on-the-Hill was ahead. Being a Sunday most things were deathly quiet but Harrow was buzzing with boys dressed in full gowns and rugby matches about to kick-off. From here there are some pleasant parks to run through before making your way towards North London.

I had read on another runners blog that Finchley and surrounding areas were the worst sign-posted sections of the ring and he was right. We also made our first and most calamitous map-reading error. You have to remember that up to this point we had been religiously using Jamie’s downloaded map on his Garmin and everytime we veered off it would say something like ‘off-course’ and everytime we would dutifully do as we were told. But on this occasion we ignored it and yes we got it horribly wrong. When you’re feeling whacked and you know how many miles you’ve roughly got left you don want to be adding 2-3 miles on top. Anyway we pulled it together and sites were set for Highgate Village.

The last 8 miles were really tough. Some of the steepest climbs are in this section and we also waded through swamp land and our feet were drenched (not a good thing but at least we were at the right end of the 80 miles for the blisters). As you run parallel to the North Circular/A1 it is amazing that there are still green-ways to run along. By now we could smell the end. Just the oddity of running through East Finchley St which actually is officially part of the Capital Ring and then a very cruel 2 mile loop at the end when you know for certain that you could ignore the ring do  right and get back to Highgate St and probably avoid that last steep climb.

Nearly another epic 8 hours. You really do need to factor in 2-4 hours on the Capital Ring just for faffing, map reading, adjusting your kits, dreaming of better stocked corner shops….but it was over.

Just another chance to join our wives and children in the Woodsman pub but this time we were all very weary.

Great epic journey. Biggest advice would be to do this with friends and if you’re doing it in one go I salute you.

Apr 21

Correction to the Ring!!!

New start and end…

The end is High….



Hi all

On the weekend of May 5 and 6 David, Jamie, Steve and James are running the length of the Capital Ring – a 77 mile walking route that goes the whole way around London.
Ordinarily, you might think we were doing this as a challenge – but it’s actually a training weekend for our 100 mile 24 hour run in the Cotswolds in the summer.
Given we’ll be spending about six-seven hours running together on both the Saturday and Sunday, we’ll be bored sh*tless of each other, unless you come and relieve said boredom with some cheeky banter and words of encouragement …
We’d love it if you could come and join us to run one (or more) of the legs – there are 14 (we are splitting one so we stop for drinks in Balham at the end of day 1) in all and they range from 3.5 miles to 7.5, so you can pick up and meet us at the start of any of the sections and peel off when you want.
The schedule looks something like this – let us know if you’d like to join and if so, when and where

Section Approx arrival time at
start of section
Start of section End of section Miles in section Total miles
(at end of secton)
12 11am Highgate Stoke Newington 5.5 5.5
13 11.55am Stoke Newington Hackney Wick 3.5 9
14 12.30pm Hackney Wick Beckton Dist Park 5 14
15 1.30pm Beckton Dist Park Woolwich Foot tunnel 3.5 17.5
1 2pm Woolwich Foot tunnel Falconwood 6 23.5
2 3pm Falconwood Grove Park 3.5 27
3 3.40pm Grove Park Crystal Palace Park 7.5 34.5
4 5pm Crystal Palace Park Streatham Common 4 38.5
5 5.30pm Streatham Common Balham 1/2 way mark 2.5 41
5.5 8am Balham 1/2 way mark Wimbledon Park 3 44
6 8.30am Wimbledon Park Richmond Bridge 7 51
7 9.40am Richmond Bridge Osterley Lock 4 55
8 10.30am Osterley Lock Greenford 5 60
9 11.30am Greenford South Kenton 5.5 65.5
10 12.30pm South Kenton Hendon Park 6 71.5
11 1.30pm Hendon Park Highgate 5.5 77

Apr 19

The Ring is Nigh!

So after 14212 emails we have come to a conclusion as to how to attempt the London Capital Ring run on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th May 2012 and courtesy of James it looks a little something like this:

Saturday morning:

Start/end at noon at Hackney Wick and follow sections as below. Saturday’s end point is Balham, midway through section 5 so circa 38 miles – should be about 5 or 6pm

We go out for food and drink like the load of sweaty old twats we will obviously be.

Balham then lets us all jump on a train/cab and be back in Wandsworth or Streatham in five mins


Sunday morning

Reconvene in Balham at 11am and go again for the remaining 39 miles and end back in Hackney Wick circa 6pm.

Quick celebratory pint or three and then Jamie, Steve and I jump in a cab back south…. Dave stumbles back to his place which is round the corner…



Section Start of section Miles in section Total miles
14 Hackney Wick 5 5
15 Beckton Dist Park 3.5 8.5
1 Woolwich Foot tunnel 6 14.5
2 Falconwood 3.5 18
3 Grove Park 7.5 25.5
4 Crystal Palace Park 4 29.5
5 Streatham Common 5.5 35
6 Wimbledon Park 7 42
7 Richmond Bridge 4 46
8 Osterley Lock 5 51
9 Greenford 5.5 56.5
10 South Kenton 6 62.5
11 Hendon Park 5.5 68
12 Highgate 5.5 73.5
13 Stoke Newington 3.5 77

Mar 16

Just because its a convenient RING…..

One the perils of long distance running is the wealth of idle time that one is afforded.

If you’re running the London Ultra, which for us was 5 and 1/2 hours and in reality its just another training run for the Cotswold 100miler in June, then thoughts obviously turn to training runs that fall in between these two distances.

I guess that it wasn’t too far a leap to take to suggest that if we were running 50km as part of the Capital Ring that the next step was to close off the donut and do the whole thing.

And thats now the plan. 78 miles but split over 2 days (sort of!!)

Day 1. Saturday 5th May

Start:   North East London (midday-ish)

Finish: Wandsworth

Day 2 : The completion of the ring back in Hackney :)

So I’ve been trawling the tinternet for Capital Ring stuff and its surprisingly bare until I came across this absolutely gem from a guy called Phil.


What I love about this is that you get all cocky about doing something like the Capital Ring with a bit of kip in between and then you read Phils wonderful blog….. :) Well at least Phil has kindly shortened the run to 74 miles!!!!

So whats next?

Well thats where you come in. Like last year

when we ran from Brighton to London and quite a few of you ran the last 10 miles with us this year we want you to come out and meet us on either the Saturday or Sunday and run some miles with us.

We are going to be using the Endomondo App so that you will be able to hunt us down like dogs and meet us wherever suits you. We’d ideally like about 1000 people to come and join us so please bring a friend :)

Let us know if you fancy it, where you might try and meet us etc and we’ll get your details and do our best to hook up, share some lube, fruit shock maybe a slice of Soreen and we will float off.

If you want to sponsor us please click on the link above.

Mar 06

Drinking Season is Over, Training Starts NOW

It’s been a nice long winter of hibernation drinking and partying for me. To cap it all off, I just completed a nice long week of skiing Après skiing in Austria and I’m now back in full training mode. I just spoke to my coach and will be putting in some timed trial exercises this week to gauge where I’m at with my fitness level right now.

This is really what I did all winter

For all of you that don’t know, as part of our challenge this year I’m attempting to complete my first Ironman on the 24th of June, 2012 in Nice, France. The idea is that as soon as the rest of the team finishes their Ultra 100 in the UK, they’ll effectively hand off the reigns to me to complete the Ironman on Sunday.

My personal goal is to raise £2,000 for HemiHelp and raise some general awareness about Hemiplegia.

Feb 20

Pork Pie and the Missing Path (London Ultra 50km Feb 19th)

What do you get if you cross vomit in Licorice Allsorts and home-made Pork pie………..

Thats right you get Jamie, James and David at this years London Ultra (ably supported by Darren for last 17 miles)

Events started off with Chevs kindly giving us a lift to the start @ Grove Park nr Mottingham where we soon became huddled in the changing rooms and the never ending procession of grown men releasing their bowels. Some great faces and footwear amongst the 180+ gathering with many looking far more professional and serious than us

James before the masses use the toilet

David James and Jamie before the start (naturally!)

We set off approx 09:15am in cool but sunny climes and made our way through South East London always with Crystal Palace looming menacingly up above. First few miles went by fairly painlessly and we got chatting to some cool bare-foot runners and assorted crazy ultra-runners (yes they are all bonkers). Onwards and upwards to Mile 11 where we were met by James’s wife Laura and mum Audrey who were armed with some pork-pie James had made the day before.

Eating delicious Streatham Mowbray Pork Pie James made

After Jamie had seen a competitor lean over to get some sweets and vomit in the box of Licorice Allsorts we finished noshing on some very tasty snacks before hop-footing  it back down Streatham Common and then to pick up fresh-faced, tea and bacon-butty relaxed and handsome Darren who met us @ Balham.

I have to say that I was feeling mighty low at this point. There wasnt a great deal of oooomph in my legs and I hadnt really enjoyed the last 10 miles.

Anyway we plodded on and met Chevs and girls for the first time (Jamie had cleverly called Chevs and pre-ordered food and pain-killers) and once again we ate more snacks. We’d probably would have hung around for a while but it was around this time we began to get pangs of doubt that we were actually last in the race and at least 20 people had waddled past us during this impromptu stop.

So we took off and made our way towards Wandsworth and the start of a glorious stretch that took in Wimbledon and then on towards Richmond Park which had to be one of the real highlights of the day. The weather was plum gorgeous and the course took us right through the wilderness part of the heath. So of course we stopped to take a few pics (its what you do when you’re serious competitors!)

David James and Darren Richmond Splendour

Boy feeling a little pooped at this stage

Ultra Dream Boys Team

After Richmond Park we then enjoyed another checkpoint and started to take on deviant snacks like Coca Cola and Sausage rolls (really are food of the Ultra gods) and then the start of some infamous zig-zagging where we got lost and made a few people behind veer off course before finally getting ourselves along the river Thames and into Richmond. It was here and for only a few wee miles that I personally felt ok and probably the only mile or so that James seemed to find things a bit tougher. Jamie meanwhile was becoming a constant pest and difficult to hold back (where does someone which such disregard for training, diet etc get to just peel off this miles with seemingly no discomfort?)

Onto the final checkpoint for more glorious crap-a-jack (I have to point out that none of us had done a poo at this point which was the eight miracle) and once again the dream team really did have fire it its belly and an unspoken desire to beat a time 5:15 and maybe to crank through the field (we were 95th with 6 miles to go)

Then it all went Pete Tong.

Firstly we came to a part of the track where a barrier had been erected to stop you going any further and sign which read “If you go any further we will shoot not only you but all of your family and that goes double for ultra-runners’. Naturally we took the other path for about 3/4 mile before we all went “Come-on we KNOW that we should have taken that path with barrier”. So we trudged (I tell you the smile was well and truly gone now as the pain was coursing through my fat thighs) back to the barrier where the 15 or so runners we’d overtake during the last 2 miles were all piled up and breaking through.

Onto the last stretch – just enough time to get lost at least 2 if not 3 times (it was getting comical but not funny at this point) when we finally could see Perivale and the finishing line (80 metres at the end of the running track)

Enough time to huddle up and for Darren to kindly take this pick

Its nearly all over

and this

James Jamie and David end of 33 miles

Epic day, really great ‘training run’ with the guys, some great banter, good thoughts around how to fill the ‘running void’ between now and Cotswolds 100, phenomenal support from Chevs and the girls plus Laura and the girls, James’s mum Audrey and just a splendid way to spend 5 hours and 33 minutes.

We finished a credible 70th(71st and 72nd) out of 188 and the full Capital Ring route course dream lives on………so does



Jan 11

Three Amigos

So this morning was the first planned ‘team’ run of 2012 with a scheduled meeting of 06:30am at Hyde Park before ending up at Xoomworks

Steve couldn’t join us.

James tried to run but had to bail due to illness.

Jamie was a ‘no-show’

Mike and Darren Hyde Park run early doors

So Darren and Mike and I met up and crawled around Hyde Park in the dark hours before Mike peeled off and Darren and I sauntered back through the West End.

Plenty of tired bodies then.

Loneliness of Long Distance runners.

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