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Drew Hunter is out for the IAAF World Championships due to a foot injury

Making Team USATF for the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Athletics was Drew Hunter's biggest career accomplishment. The 21 year-old adidas athlete, who trains in Boulder, Colo., with the Tinman Elite group, scrapped his way to a fifth place finish in the 5000m at the Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships in July, despite enduring searing foot pain in the weeks leading to those championships which made running almost impossible. As the third man across the finish line with the World Championships standard, Hunter was going to his first big global championships.

"I just did everything I could," Hunter told Race Results Weekly in a telephone interview last night from Boulder. "It's the hardest team to make and I made it. I earned that spot."

But over the last month, Hunter's foot woes have only gotten worse. Despite countless treatments, cross training, ice, anti-inflammatories and rest, the 2019 USA indoor two-mile champion had to accept that his track season was over. He made the decision with coach Tom Schwartz after a workout he attempted last Friday with Tinman teammate Sam Parsons who is preparing for the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile.

"I warmed up with Sam for his last workout for Fifth Avenue," Hunter recounted. "I'm going to do a hard workout with Sam and see where my foot is at. I did one stride and my foot was on fire. I knew I was done."

Hunter informed USATF of his decision to withdraw from the team. Although the national federation hasn't named a replacement yet, the next athlete in line is Ben True who finished seventh at the USATF Championships and had the World Championships standard at the time of the meet (American athletes were not permitted to chase the standard after the national championships).

Although severely disappointed, Hunter is trying to use this setback as a learning experience. Analyzing his workouts and training schedule with his coach, he has traced the injury --first an inflamed and torn plantar, then a fractured cuboid bone in his right foot-- to what seemed like the most successful period of running of his young career. On June 13, Hunter ran a personal best 7:39.85 for 3000m at the Bislett Games in Oslo. His foot was just a little sore, but his fitness was excellent and he wanted more.

"I felt my planter and it wasn't bad," Hunter explained. "I had the same symptoms before the Oslo Diamond League. Then I ran Olso, then hopped on a flight straight to Boston and did the Boost Games Mile (where he finished second in 3:58)." He continued: "My plantar was sore, but it was very minor. Right after Oslo and Boost Games I ran really well. I looked in my training log and I know where I screwed everything up."

Hunter, who was a miler in high school, had been successful as a 5000m man on a relatively low-mileage training plan. A big training week for him was 80 miles, but wanting to increase his fitness base he ran successive 90-mile weeks after Oslo. That, Hunter said, was the tipping point.

"I ran my two highest mileage weeks ever back to back," Hunter said. He added: "It just kind of slowly got worse and worse."

In his one tune-up race for the USA national meet, Hunter ran the 1500m at the Sunset Tour meeting in Azuza, Calif., on July 9. He clocked a solid 3:37.29, showing that he had enough fitness to run the 5000m at the national meet, but his foot felt awful.

"Then I ran Azuza, and after the race I could barely walk," Hunter said. "My plantar was, like, on fire. After Azuza my training went really inconsistent and really shaky into nationals. I couldn't do long runs, I couldn't do workouts."

Hunter knew the injury was bad, but decided not to get an MRI because part of him didn't want to know how bad it really was. He was committed to the national meet and didn't want to pull out. That's what professional athletes do, he said.

"I didn't get an MRI before and that was intentional because I knew something was wrong. I knew I had a plantar problem, but I didn't want to know how severe because I was all-in on running nationals." He continued: "So I just worked with my soft tissue therapist and just managed it."

Ironically, by taking so many steps to protect his plantar Hunter actually caused the cuboid fracture. The planter problem is mostly resolved, he said, but the the cuboid fracture needs more time to heal.

(09/04/2019) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha won the 5,000 easily at Payton Jordan invitational last night clocking 13:10 along with other top performances

The big names at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford's Cobb Track and Field stadium in Palo Alto, Calif. all got wins last night. 

Clayton Murphy won the 1500 (3:37.59) comfortably, Jessica Hull won the 1500 (4:12.08).

 Allie Ostrander the steeple, Jenny Simpson got the win (15:21) over Rachel Schneider in the 5,000.

Yomif Kejelcha won the 5,000 easily (13:10 for him, 13:17 for 2nd) and Sifan Hassan’s 10,000m debut (31:18) was a success.

Ben True won the 10k (27:52) but no one got the Worlds standard.

New Balance professional Jenny Simpson won the women's 5,000 meters in her outdoor season opener in 15:21.12.

Simpson, who last ran an outdoor 5,000 in August of 2013 in Switzerland in a personal-best 14:56.26 after capturing the USATF title that year, was competing at Payton Jordan for the first time since winning the 1,500 in 2010 in 4:08.11.

Simpson ascended to No. 3 in the world this year in the 5,000, also achieving the IAAF World Championships standard.

(05/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Ben True, Justyn Knight and Ben Flanagan, Two three and four at B.A.A 5K

Justyn Knight was third Saturday at the B.A.A 5K in a time of 13:46. He was third in a very respectable field, losing to Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia (13:42) who’s an Olympic bronze medallist in the 5,000m and Ben True, one of the best American distance athletes on the roads.

True was sixth at the 2015 World Championships in the 5,000m.

After what Knight describes as a lack-lustre indoor season, he’s had a very solid opener. Knight only ran one race in the 2019 indoor season and says he wasn’t in his ideal race shape through the winter.

“My indoor season was what everyone saw, I was out of shape. I knew I wasn’t as fit as I would’ve like to be, but I still wanted to race and see where I was at relative to my fellow competitors. I wasn’t ready to run fast then, but I feel I’m in a completely different spot now.”

Training partner Ben Flanagan was fourth in Saturday’s race just behind Justyn in 13:49. Flanagan and Knight train together with the Reebok Boston Track Club. Knight’s next race will be Payton Jordan on May 2 in Palo Alto, California.

(04/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. 5K

B.A.A. 5K

The B.A.A. 5K began in 2009, and became an instant hit among runners from far and wide. Viewed by many as the “calm before the storm,” the Sunday of Marathon weekend traditionally was for shopping, loading up on carbohydrates at the pasta dinner, and most importantly- resting. But now, runners of shorter distances, and even a few marathoners looking for...

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Ben Flanagan and Justyn Knight will be facing a very deep field at the B.A.A 5K race on Saturday

Ben Flanagan and Justyn Knight will both race the B.A.A 5K on Saturday. They will face a very deep field including World Championship top six finisher Ben True and 2019 USATF Indoor 2-mile champion Drew Hunter.

Both Flanagan and Knight run for the Reebok Boston Track Club out of Charlottesville, Virginia.

We asked Flanagan and Knight how they thought they would do if on Saturday they were told they had to run a marathon instead of a 5K. Flanagan joked that, “I mean, I could finish it.” He continued, “I think I would try and run around 5:30 miles for as long as possible.

I would hope to finish around the 2:30’s. It’s so hard to say.” Flanagan hasn’t done a long run longer than 14 miles recently and says that the marathon is a distance he really respects. “It would be impossible to go out there and do a good job without months of preparation.”

Knight took a slightly more aggressive approach saying he would aim for high teens or low twenties. “Oh my gosh, I mean I hope that I’d run between 2:18 or 2:20 but I don’t even know what a minute means in the context of a marathon.”

Knight only ran one race in the 2019 indoor season and says he wasn’t in his ideal race shape through the winter. “My indoor season was what everyone saw, I was out of shape. I knew I wasn’t as fit as I would’ve like to be, but I still wanted to race and see where I was at relative to my fellow competitors. I wasn’t ready to run fast then, but I feel I’m in a completely different spot now.” Knight says he always races to win and that’s the mindset he has heading into the weekend.

Both runners are starting their 2019 outdoor seasons with the World Championships in mind. Neither Flanagan or Knight are certain of which distance they would ideally qualify at, but they know they’d like to be there.

(04/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. 5K

B.A.A. 5K

The B.A.A. 5K began in 2009, and became an instant hit among runners from far and wide. Viewed by many as the “calm before the storm,” the Sunday of Marathon weekend traditionally was for shopping, loading up on carbohydrates at the pasta dinner, and most importantly- resting. But now, runners of shorter distances, and even a few marathoners looking for...

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Belay Tilahun of Ethiopia and Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya won their New York City racing debuts in the open division

Tilahun, a 24-year-old member of West Side Runners, recorded his surprise victory in a time of 1:02:10 with an exciting kick through the final two miles. 

“I was feeling quite cold at the beginning, but as I was warming up, I began to feel better. After about 15 kilometers, I was confident that I could win. So I used the finishing kick that I had to win,” Tilahun said. 

Eritrea’s Daniel Mesfun finished second in 1:02:16 after leading for the majority of the race, while U.S. Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo took third in 1:02:19 in his half-marathon debut. 

A record eight American men finished in the top 10 in the open division, as Chelimo was followed by Jared Ward, Noah Droddy, Brogan Austin, Tim Ritchie, John Raneri, Parker Stinson, and Ben True, respectively.

 In the women’s open division, Jepkosgei, the half marathon world record-holder, won her first-ever race in the United States on a solo run to the finish in a time of 1:10:07. The world championship silver medalist in the distance became the sixth woman from Kenya to win the event, and the first to do so since 2014. “This season I am preparing to debut in the marathon, and this was a great half marathon to see how my body feels,” Jepkosgei said.

Fellow Kenyan Mary Ngugi came through the finish line one minute later in 1:11:07 to take second place, 15-hundredths of a second ahead of last year’s champion, Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba.

Emma Bates, the 2018 USATF Marathon champion, was the top American in the women’s open division, taking fourth place in 1:11:13. She was followed by 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden in fifth place in 1:11:22.

(03/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins and 2015 Pan Am Games medallist Sasha Gollish are set to run United Airlines NYC Half

The 2019 United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon has a truly star-studded lineup. In the men’s field, Levins is joined by Americans Ben True and Paul Chelimo. Chelimo is an Olympic silver medallist over 5,000m and Sunday will be his half-marathon debut.

Chelimo told Let’sRun on Monday that he’s less concerned about time, and aiming for a spot on the podium. True was sixth at the 2015 World Championships in the 5,000m and is the 2018 NYC Half defending champion. 

Levins is targeting the London Marathon at the end of April where he will race against world record holder Eliud Kipchoge. “I’m very excited to meet him, he’s an inspiration to marathoners everywhere, but if he goes out on world record pace I’d hardly even call it the same race.”

Levins’ half-marathon personal best is a 1:02:15 from the World Half-Marathon Championships last March in Spain, which is less than a minute off of the current Canadian half-marathon record of 1:01:28 set in 1999 by Jeff Schiebler. It would take a very strong run for Levins to knock down this mark, but it doesn’t seem out of the question considering the strength of Sunday’s field. 

On the women’s side, 2:32 marathoner Sasha Gollish is joined by 2018 Boston champion Des Linden, half-marathon world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei and two-time marathon world champion Edna Kiplagat

Gollish’s personal best is from 2018 World Half-Marathon Championships where she was the first Canadian across the line in 1:11:52.

(03/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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Olympian Leonard Korir is aiming to become only the fourth man to win the Gate River Run three years in a row

The two-time defending champion headlines the elite men’s field entering Saturday’s 42nd annual Gate River Run through downtown Jacksonville, the national 15-kilometer championship for USA Track and Field.

With one more victory, the 32-year-old Leonard Korir can join a select club as winners of three straight men’s titles. Only Todd Williams (1994-96), Meb Keflezighi (2001-04) and Ben True (2013-15) have previously accomplished the feat.

Race director Doug Alred said he’s hoping to see a tight contest, and he feels the odds this year are good.

“It’s not that exciting when one person just runs away with it,” he said. “If the leaders can just stay together onto the Hart Bridge, that would be great.”

So far, that’s been the case in Korir’s past two victories. His 2017 win was the event’s closest finish ever, edging Shadrack Kipchirchir to the finish line by a fraction of a second.

Despite his record in Jacksonville and his international achievements at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, there’s reason to believe that Korir is far from a lock to repeat Saturday.

Unlike 2017 and 2018, he did not win the USATF cross country championships, held this time in Tallahassee on Feb. 2. Instead, he took third, while Kipchirchir beat him out by five seconds.

In addition to Kipchirchir, 2016 champion Stanley Kebenei returns, coming off a fifth-place finish in the cross country finals.

(03/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Gate River Run

Gate River Run

The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...

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Defending Champions Ben True, Buze Diriba, Ernst van Dyk, and Manuela Schär will Return for defending titles at 2019 United Airlines NYC Half

The 2019 United Airlines NYC Half will feature a star-studded field featuring nine Olympians leading 25,000 runners from Brooklyn to Manhattan in the first race of the 2019 NYRR Five Borough-Series.

The elite field will be headlined by 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden and U.S. Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo, who will make his half marathon debut, as well as all four defending event champions: Ben True, Buze Diriba, Ernst van Dyk and Manuela Schär. 

In addition to Linden, the Americans will be represented by two-time TCS New York City Marathon top-10 finisher Allie Kieffer, USATF champion and Pan American Games medalist Kellyn Taylor, 2018 Boston Marathon runner-up Sarah Sellers, and 2018 USATF Marathon champion Emma Bates.

This year, runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets.

For the second year in a row, the course will take runners over the Manhattan Bridge and up the FDR Drive before a crosstown dash on 42nd Street and a turn north on 7th Avenue, through Times Square, and into Central Park.

This year’s less hilly Central Park route finishes just north of Tavern on the Green and will feature a shorter post-race walk-off for runners to exit the park and start their celebrations.

(02/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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Paul Chelimo is running the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon, his debut at the distance

Paul Chelimo, 5,000-meter silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics, is making his debut in the half marathon distance. Last fall, Chelimo won the USATF 5K championships in Central Park in a course-record time of 13:45.

The 14th running of the event will take runners on a 13.1-mile tour through New York neighbourhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan and past iconic city landmarks.

“I’m really excited about this new challenge in my career,” Chelimo told the New York Road Runners in a press release. “I’ve been doing longer runs than ever in my training this winter, and am ready to show the long distance guys a thing or two on March 17.”

Chelimo will face some hefty competition in the race. Ben True, who won last year’s race in 1:02:39, is returning to defend his title. The field will also include four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, 2018 USA Marathon champion Brogan Austin, and U.S. Olympian Jared Ward, who finished as the top American finisher at the 2018 NYC Marathon.

“I am ready to show the long distance guys a thing or two on March 17. I have unfinished business on the track, and then I’m looking forward to making a debut in the TCS New York City Marathon in the near future.”

(02/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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Jack Robertson continues to amaze, he wins B2B by nearly a minute in extreme humidity

NZL’s Jake Robertson destroyed the competition at the 21st Beach to Beacon 10k Saturday August 4.  His 27:37 is the 3rd fastest ever in Cape Elizabeth. Stephen Sambu was 2nd in 28:26, 2016 champ and Maine native Ben True was a close third clocking 28 :29. Sandra Chebet won the women’s race in 31:20, Ababel Yeshaneh (Eth) 2nd 31:25, Molly Huddle 3rd 31:40. Very humid. Jake Robertson as been training in Kenya for the last few years and continues to run some amazing times.  More than 6,500 runners participated in Maine's biggest road race, which was the brainchild of Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson. Samuelson, a Maine native, won the Boston Marathon in 1979 and went on to win it again in 1983. She took gold in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, the first time the marathon event was open to women. She created the 6.2-mile race that starts at Crescent Beach State Park and ends at Fort Williams, home to the Portland Head Light. It follows her old training route growing up in Cape Elizabeth.     (Sat 4  (08/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ben True was the first American to win the Beach to Beacon and wants to do it again

Ben True, who became the first American runner to win the TD Beach to Beacon in 2016 and finished second in 2017, will return to the race this year. True, a North Yarmouth native and Greely High graduate, leads the men’s elite field for the Aug. 4 race, which was announced by race officials Monday. True is joined in the men’s field by two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong, 2012 Beach to Beacon winner Stanley Biwott, and Jake Robertson, who set the New Zealand record in the marathon earlier this year. This year’s top contenders will join a field of more than 6,500 runners who will wind along the fast, relatively flat course that begins near Crescent Beach State Park on Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth and ends in Fort Williams Park near Portland Head Light. (07/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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America's Ben True and Ethiopia's Buze Diriba are back to Defend Their Titles at BAA 5K Saturday

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced Monday the elite field for the BAA 5K and Invitational Mile, to be held on Saturday, April 14 two days before the Boston Marathon. New Hampshire’s Ben True will return to Boston looking to earn his fifth BAA. 5K title, while Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba will defend her 2017 crown. Canada’s Nicole Sifuentes and American Drew Hunter will lead world-class fields at the tenth annual BAA Invitational Mile. A $39,900 prize purse will be distributed to the top finishers of the BAA 5K, while a $14,500 prize purse will be available in the BAA Invitational Mile. True is a veteran and New England favorite on the roads of Boston, having broken the American record twice at the BAA 5K in both 2015 and 2017. A year ago, True timed 13:20 en route to his fifth win in seven years. Coming off a win at the NYC Half in March, True will drop down in distance and face a tough field that includes fellow Americans Eric Jenkins, Tommy Curtin, and Scott Fauble. Jenkins, a native of New Hampshire, is a two-time NCAA champion and was runner-up at last year’s USA Championships 5000m on the track. (04/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ben True is the first American to ever win the NY City Half Marathon

Ben True out sprints Dathan Ritzenhein to win the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon this morning. Running his first half marathon Ben posted a 1:02:39 beating 35-year-old Ritzenhein who finished three seconds back.

True said after the race that he questioned whether he could hang with Ritzenhein after the 35-year-old made his move. It wasn’t until the last mile of the race when True, 32, felt confident that he could prevail.

“When Dathan pulled away, probably around mile 10, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to be able to reel him back in,” True said.

“And even when I started reeling him back in, I didn’t know if I was then going to be able to get around him. It really wasn’t until the very end that I was like, ‘All right, I can get this.’”

The real challenge of the day was the weather, 29 degrees and headwinds up to 14mph. The women’s race was also a sprint to the finish. Ethiopian Buze Diriba (1:12:23) out kicking America’s Emily Sisson by just one second.

True's first place finish in the men's open division represents the first time an American man won the open division in the event's history.

(03/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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The best Half Marathon time in the last 12-months on US soil is 1:00:04. Can that change Sunday?

Kenyan Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot said that she expects to run a fast time at the New York Half marathon on Sunday. The elite men's field looks strong. Kenyans Wilson Chebet (59:15) and Stephen Sambu (60:41), Ethiopia's Teshome Mekonnen (60:27) with Dathan Ritzenhein (60:00), Abdi Abdirahman (60:29) leading the American charge and also Ben True who will be running his first half. But it is the women's race that has the real top names. Cheruiyot, 34, is stepping up her campaign in marathon after graduating from the track competition and will be using the race in New York as part of her preparations for the London marathon on April 22. "It is always a pleasure to race against some of the world's best runners because it brings out the best in you. I know the organizers in New York have assembled a big team of elite runners and I am excited to run the New York Half Marathon this Sunday,” she said before her departure on Thursday night. She will face Ethiopians Mamitu Daska and Buze Diriba and her compatriot Betsy Saina. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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