It reminded me of my FKT on Cerro Chirripo in Costa Rica. Still early in the adventure, I reminded myself: this is Colorado and the sun will be out again before I know it. “I gave up, and in that moment, I learned to trust others, to really trust my crew. The trail was maintained, but with large swaths of avalanche debris. Courtney Dauwalter’s attempt to break a record along the Colorado Trail has ended — for now — due to acute bronchitis. John Zahorian. Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. Nature glistened with a glaze of fiction and there were cracks in the picture that traveled from my eyes to my brain. It provided the opportunity to disappear into my own mind. The rest of the trail would be lower than the altitude at which I stood, but it would by no means be downhill. I had seen this fictional safari guide multiple times over the last few days and I could never decide if he was spying on me or simply observing me. I was over 300 miles in, and it finally felt like a morning on autopilot where the target pace could be achieved. But the trail was no longer a physical feat but a mental battle, and the thought of gaining altitude slowed the pace of my feet. Signs all along the Colorado Trail mentioned things like “Bikers yield to hikers,” but this statement was rarely (if ever) followed. I would have had a simple climb had I not dwelled on the ascent for the hour leading up to it. My hands stayed in my pockets to avoid the pre-dawn chill. But starting early on the morning of Aug. 26, Williams and his friend Eric Truhe set off to try and run the trail in under 8 days and 7 hours, the previous fastest known time record set by ultrarunner Scott Jaime in 2013. “But really, it was an amazing experience, and I just want people to realize that they are capable of so much more. With the issues I was having at altitude, I vowed to sleep below 11,000’. On this day I was tired, but not on the verge of falling asleep like I had been two years ago. The trail meandered along the spine, sometimes connected only by a thin edge winding around the next curve of the montains. Welcome to the Trail . It had been the most unique challenge I had ever undertaken. After some early troubles with his headlight that forced Lachlan to ride a few hours in the dark, he would eventually complete the route in 11 hours, 14 minutes—besting Kurt Refsnider’s previous record by just 38 minutes. It was the beginning of the progression to what led me here. My motivation was there, but the sleep was starting to wear on me. Garmire, 28, crossed the finish line the next day in 9 days, 8 hours and 18 minutes, breaking the trail record by about five hours. When the trail lost elevation heading down to the river I began to dread climbing up the other side. “Just spend time in the mountains, doing things fast or doing things extreme,” said mountain athlete Jeff Garmire. It would signal the final segment and within a half day of joining a well-used portion of the Colorado Trail that my body could relax and lean into for more comfortable miles. I overslept by two hours. Jeff Garmire. (For much of the trail I used a watch (when battery power permitted) to monitor my heart rate and try to keep it at a sustainable level.). It was a beautiful sight, with just enough cloud cover to offer texture to the sky, and allow the sun to perfectly reflect off the river and the surrounding peaks. A light rain woke me up, and I began my 2nd day in the pitch black night, well before the first hints of morning began. The last third had become a battle of desire and feasibility. “That began the toughest, darkest day and night for me,” he said. As I twisted and turned over ridges and aspen forests, my mind was only on the future and the awaiting cross of Kenosha Pass. Griswold, incidentally, has the record for most votes received by a Colorado woman, with 1,116,693 in the 2018 election. In the early afternoon, I entered the Weminuche Wilderness and the true elevation of the day began. It was gentle but it was also hot. Breathing the dry air with a hint of smoke along with the altitude set my stomach against me. I planned to hike through until morning, but I did leave the possibility of a power nap open if the weather offered a break. Label: Frontier Records (9) - 1005,Bar D Records - 1005 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Stereo • Country: US • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • The trail meandered through the forest, across the ridges with amazing views, and turned through Tennessee Pass. I had been this deep into hallucinations four times before, so I was never scared, but it felt as though I were starring in a movie that I knew wasn’t actually happening. It was a gentle trail and a nice reprieve from the bustling traffic even in the early morning along the roads. It was a momentary break in the continued seesaw of the Colorado Trail. I spent my first summer in the Mile High City climbing all 58 14ers in the state. First I dropped down to Animas River and crossed the railroad tracks. Not only was he impressed I knew the mascot of LSU, but he also couldn’t wrap his mind around the idea of backpacking for 500 miles. “It was a critical point, because I knew I had finally made up the distance I had lost, but it cost precious time,” he said. BOZEMAN — Some people enjoy hiking in their free time by doing a few miles here and a few miles there, but one Bozeman resident broke the Colorado Trail record hiking more than 50 miles a day. I spent the morning dodging the bikes all the way to Highway 91. I crossed Chalk Creek Trailhead and began the long road walk by Princeton Hot Springs. Sunlight shone into my tarp and my anxiety spiked. I hobbled downhill as quickly as I could until I hit my arbitrary goal, where  I quickly set up my tent (for fear of rain) and passed out like a rock. It was late morning and the trees unnaturally blew in the wind, a crumbled stump moved like a bear, and a safari guide sat peering through his binoculars at me. My mistake was allowing myself to think it would be a clear night. My day lasted only long enough to eclipse the 100 mile mark. My spirits soared as the sun appeared and I was expectant of easier miles once I turned onto the Collegiate East route. How would I complete this trail? The list of climbs and traverses range from Boulder’s beloved Mount Sanitas, a brief-but-brutal lung-buster that climbs 1,300 feet over just 1.4 miles, to the state’s highest peak, the 14,440-foot Mount Elbert. It was worthy of a picture and a few moments of observance. It was a gentle climb and descent down to a parking area and then the route followed the longest meadow of my life. Princeton. The night was crisp, but much better than the range of weather I had experienced throughout the first 36 hours. The elevation was behind me for the morning. The crossing of Highway 285 would leave about 72 miles remaining and I knew my body and mind could endure anything for that distance. When I developed this strategy, it was cloudy, but patches of blue sky were scattered overhead as I passed some sheep and a small structure. At the top I sat down and counted down from 15. It was the perfect excuse to take a minute and we began to converse. It was a long climb. Photo credit: Mikaela Osler. The comparatively gentle climb was a mental battle. But things didn’t go right, from the very first day all the way until the last day. It seemed that despite my early blunder with oversleeping, things were falling in my favor. It was frustrating, especially in the intermittent periods of rain that came and went as quickly as I could pull on my rain gear. There was not far to go. That point broke up my day and I enjoyed my favorite daily snack: peanut-butter filled pretzels. It took until 2am, but I successfully made up all the miles I had slept through earlier in the morning. The excitement of the trail disappeared quickly, leaving only the realization of the uncomfortable weight on my back and the difficult climb underfoot. Summer of 2020 might just become known as the summer of F.K.T’s (fastest known times). My girlfriend would simply not be allowed to film me, or be near the trail as I passed in any way. Either the sound wasn’t loud enough or I moved just enough in my sleep to muffle the disturbance. Why The Colorado Trail is Experiencing Record-High Traffic This Year A s countless aspiring long-distance backpackers prepared to thru-hike either the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, or Continental Divide Trail this 2020 season, their plans came to an abrupt halt due to COVID-19. I slowly circled around San Luis Peak, crossing the pass and losing all the altitude I worked so hard to gain with descents immediately following each climb. Upon waking up, I knew the beginning of my day would be tame, so my pace was fast. I would carry everything I needed from Durango to Denver. But with 2020 full of calls for hikers to avoid putting unnecessary strain on trail towns, I put more thought into it and decided this could be my chance to take on a new kind of challenge: Unsupported for nearly 500 miles. There were shimmers of hallucinations. I wanted to finish so bad but with miles still remaining I turned my legs to autopilot and tried to maintain steady progress. Nine days, 8 hours and 18 minutes: That’s how quickly Jeff Garmire hiked the 486-mile Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver last week — a record time. I held a meeting with the crew the day before departing, and drew some hard boundaries. With the strength left in my legs, it wouldn’t necessarily be a sprint, but a mental success at arriving within a realistic distance of the end. I ripped my shoes off and sat down. I might post a few stories to display and prove the experience, but this FKT effort would be done in the present, and without distractions of praise or support through the interwebs. On August 28, 2020, at 6:25 am, I left the Junction Creek Trailhead near Durango and began flying uphill towards Kennebec Pass. They roamed around me, taking on their shape through the bright moonlight. I tried more caffeine and forced down the last of my calories, but nothing improved my pace. We had even booked rooms in hotels and cabins that we had planned on sleeping in night months in advance. Now on day 8, I was so hot I feared dehydration or another heat-related malady. The trail first traveled through a small subdivision. As I neared the South Cottonwood Trailhead I instantly flashed back to Nolans 14—the route uses the trail for a bit to climb up to Mt. The Colorado Trail high in the San Juan Mountains on day two. The trail would not be mine again for some time. The effects of the Colorado Trail were adding up, and I could tell it would be all about hanging on from here. Shortly after my first observations of the strange trees, I took a nap. It didn’t matter that they were tired. It is the area I know best of any in the entire United States, so I wanted to find a different way to experience the CT. At first I considered a self-supported FKT, caching food along the route. The trail seemed perfectly graded and the intermittent rain showers cooled me down as I climbed straight into the San Juans. I prepared to embark on the journey by cramming 8.5 days worth of food (one full day less than I expected to need) and enough gear to simply endure the worst weather I could end up in. The parking lot was full and both sides of the highway were packed. The scenery is dark, with only a faint moonlight and my mind has not fully snapped to attention. Garmire made the 486-mile journey in nine days, 8 hours, and 18 minutes. In the absence of water, my thirst had gone from uncomfortable to the early stages of dehydration. Bryan Williams and Scott Jaime, holder of the pervious fastest known time on the Colorado Trail, share a moment on the final day of running. The Trail – The Colorado Trail a continuous, narrow path from Denver to Durango for hiking, horseback, and bicycling. I felt almost a fake satisfaction that the heavy weight I was carrying would not slow down my pace. It was not the way I wanted to walk into Gold Hill Trailhead. I ran out of water too far before Highway 9 and the final mile was defined by a sandpaper tongue and unquenchable thirst. The horizon transitioned from black to gray and the rain turned to sleet as I climbed over the 12,500’ passes. Colorado Trail Info: For the most part, the Colorado Trail is very well marked. It reminded me of the summer of 2015 where I had spent my weekends climbing every 14,000’ peak in Colorado. It would motivate me, but also keep my pack light enough to manage at the beginning. Each rock looked perfect to sit on, and each stream was too inviting to cool off in. Dauwalter, 35, of Golden, had stepped onto the start of the Colorado Trail in Durango Wednesday at 2 p.m. with a goal to run the 486 miles to Denver in record time. But I made it there and quickly walked the bike path to the Blue River to refill my bottles. Really, people just need to go for it!”. In the unsupported style it did not feel like the correct thing to do. It was early afternoon and the usual time thunderstorms would roll in during late August in Colorado. But soon I was on a gravel road at 9,500’ and heading toward Highway 50 at a pace that made me forget the divide. Immediately upon turning north, the wind picked up and the rain started to hammer down. Elbert, and then crossed the Mt. My legs grew tired and my heart rate skyrocketed. Dale Garland, Dave LaFranboise, John McAward and John Wolgamott ran from Durango to Denver in about 17 days. It is like losing a relationship you tried so hard to maintain. I passed Blanks Cabin and turned a full 360, putting myself back into 2018 when I finished Nolans 14 in 59 hours as part of the Great Western Loop. The elevation gain began with small climbs and descents, but as I neared my goal for the day, it got even more difficult. My mileage was where I wanted it, and I had somehow salvaged Day 4 by maintaining  a fast  pace on mild terrain. It felt like just another day of extreme physical exertion. However, The Trailside Databook is a must-have for a breakdown of each segment with mileages and elevations. The mountain is the last in a chain that are often connected as both public and personal challenges. A fastest known time (FKT) is essentially a record time for a known trail or mountain peak. The fear that I had ruined my FKT attempt fueled my legs. The precipitation slammed my face and soaked through my rain gear. The weather, time of day, and difficult terrain all worked against my mindset. I cruised over the hills in a refreshingly chilly breeze. It was time to sleep for a few hours in the brutal cold of 12,000 feet…. For days I had been eating enough food that my pack weight was light. I finally crested the final climb at a snail’s pace. Bikes again commandeered the trail all the way up to the first ridge. The weather was perfect, but only because the shade of the trees cooled the trail. I competed in ski races, ultramarathons, devised my own routes, connected peaks and ridges, hiked the Continental Divide Trail twice, and even completed Nolan’s 14 in under the 60-hour cutoff while hiking the CDT. I filled up water from Lujan Creek before finally climbing into the mountains and away from the questionable water sources. With my current route, I was already expected to do over 50 miles per day with 10k feet of elevation gain. Added new Triple Crown challenge records, both male and female, Jay Petervary and Alice Drobna respectively. The miles that lay before me felt and the miles behind felt miniscule. 485 unsupported miles is a challenge that goes beyond the pace and timing of breaking an FKT. “The mood was kind of sour.”, Things didn’t improve on day four, as they once again started on the trail late. I would be introduced to the Collegiate Wilderness and a visit to the alpine once again. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), I run so many repeats in these hills. An hour later I was back moving. By that time, the Colorado Trail Race, which challenges mountain bike riders to ride the entire trail, was just 3 years old. A stone’s throw from the water, the trail turned straight east toward the dam. The Colorado Trail Race is on for 2021 The grand depart for the self-timed, self-supported, ultra-endurance bikepacking race is July 25, 2021 in Durango, Colorado. The small crew consisting of Williams’ girlfriend, Truhe’s father, and a couple other friends were barely making the aid stations in time in the remote San Juan mountains. This was the last 150 miles, and it was time to ignore every temptation to slow down. But when they opened they saw daylight. The journey that you are about to embark upon follows a portion, or perhaps the entire 485 miles of recreational trail that crosses Colorado from Denver to Durango. Slowly after the crest, my route dropped down to Clear Creek Road. Not only would we be complying with the definition of unsupported, but we would take it even further. It turned out to be quite a poor idea. I hiked on, distracted by the white quickly accumulating underfoot. It was incredible to see the far-out peaks and to be walking through a landscape similar to the Lord of the Rings. I dropped lower and joined the road. The evening was a reprieve from the continual battle of hauling my uncomfortably heavy pack up and down hills. I crossed Marshall Pass Road and climbed back up to the Divide. The switchbacks were so gradual that I could have flown through the area. Bryan feeling good on top of the Ten Mile Range near Breckenridge Ski Resort on day seven. The previous record-holder on both counts was Democrat Michael Bennet, who won a second full term in the U.S. Senate in 2016 with 1,370,710 votes. I hiked through the last dark hours before morning, never eclipsing 3 miles per hour. My eyes opened to the sound of an alarm. . Massive Trailhead and entered several miles of wilderness. It was the perfect storm to keep myself in position to be successful. It was a smooth trail, through cowlands of rolling hills and crisscrossed with dirt roads. After Taylor Lake, I knew the trail would rise to the top of the ridge, so I needed luck on my side. I tried to push my legs into a jog but the pace was only controlled falling as I descended. The giant bright moon sat just above the opposite ridge, and lit up the landscape more completely than my headlamp could. Coming off a divorce, he was overweight, depressed and in debt. I ran over water sources that I should have stopped at, and through the barren landscape into the valley. The climb was relatively gentle, but the heat was drastically different from the cool weather and precipitation of the last two days. I couldn’t handle the heat without electrolytes or food. I tried to chug water before moving on, but with no food in my stomach, ingesting anything was difficult. The heat in the canyon became such a burden I pondered what would happen if my body simply gave up and passed out in the middle of the road. Unlike any previous trail, wilderness was especially valued on the Colorado Trail because it meant that mountain bike use is not permitted,  so there was less need to be cognizant of sounds that were human related. “Honestly, when I finished I was a bit bummed that it was over,” he said. His mom got a dog for his daughter, and in walking the dog every day he started to think about running and getting in shape. The hikers at the water source did not hold me up, but also had enough questions to make my time there eventful. The segments of productivity were painfully small and every flat rock looked like the most inviting place to take a seat. “By the second day we had lost serious time, we ran out of water, we were seriously dehydrated, and just falling behind,” Willams said. We said our goodbyes and I charged on, newly rejuvenated after blowing someone’s mind! Veteran adventurer and trail runner Peter Bakwin of Boulder, Colo., started and maintains the website Fastest Known Time as an unofficial record keeper for FKTs and attempts. My mind was resigned to what lay in front of me, not dreading nor impatient. No period of rest exceeded 40 minutes, but it took three down periods to combat the nighttime figures my mind was creating. It was a challenge that had never been done as part of the CDT or my even longer GWL, but I thought there was at least a sliver of hope for me completing it in under the cutoff of 60 hours. Every mile my hands fell to my knees for a session of dry heaving. But starting early on the morning of Aug. 26, Williams and his friend Eric Truhe set off to try and run the trail in under 8 days and 7 hours, the previous fastest known time record set by ultrarunner Scott Jaime in 2013. After winding  through the rows of houses, the dreaded climb began. The miles were not quick and my feet had begun to ache, but shortly after 2am I settled in for my second nap. With my heavy thru-hiker’s pack, I had walked down to the fish hatchery and given the challenge everything I had. Two runners seeking Colorado Trail record finishes had to drop out after each completed more than 225 miles of the 485-mile route on record-setting paces. I hobbled down the back side of the pass and slept at just over 50 miles. The gentle, flat terrain continued as I circled back around to the mountains. It was a unique style and one that had already surpassed the Long Trail in the length that my mind worked within itself. I so badly wanted to make it to Twin Lakes, but being many hours short, I put any planning out of my mind. It was strange walking through a series of houses shortly after walking across the Tenmile Range. “I remember the first day when I could run all the way around the block, that was the coolest thing for me,” he said. Log in as an administrator and view the Instagram Feed settings page for more details. Mikaela Osler’s goal was to finish the Colorado Trail in a record 14 days. It was a night of watching stumps come to life, trees staring intently, and the pulsing of nature with each gust of wind. With races canceled, runners, distance hikers, and cyclists have been charging hard and breaking records left and right. Whether the weather—or simply the elevation—had worn me down, I just didn’t have it. The plan was to change my sleep schedule for the second half of the FKT, but when I went to sleep on night five I postponed the style change for another day. It would be mindless miles of head down walking, trying to pretend my body wasn’t being hammered by rain and hail. Nine days, eight hours, and 18 minutes. At the top of the climb I had 13 miles left and the day was growing hot. Other aspiring CT thru hikers warned me of the climb and it only heightened my dread. More plateau grassland awaited at 12,000’ but I had to coax my tired legs to carry me there. After one tiny bite my stomach turned and I began dry heaving. I quickly turned back and forth down the switchbacks to the banks of Twin Lakes. It was the heat of the day and I tried to find small bits of shade to complete my sporadic dry heaving. I crawled in deeper and stayed protected from the cold for 30 more minutes. It wasn’t the elevation or the terrain, but the inward struggle to overcome the physical discomfort. It was like a switch flipped, before I knew they had my best interest at heart, but now I just trusted them, deeply, physically, emotionally.”. I would not help them locate me on the trail, or have any idea about their timing and plans. I had set my alarms for a time when it was still pitch black, and the light was a very bad sign. Looking at my progress nearly made me weep. Four days before my first and only ultramarathon, I had a wave of anxiety and decided I needed to run the entire Tenmile Range to make sure my body could handle the elevation and abuse of the upcoming 50k race. Every .1 I would check my map. It didn’t. Half a mile from the top, a tourist from Louisiana was leaning on his poles. “When I heard that I was really bummed; we had planned on running the trail together, and now I was alone. Despite my attempts, the elusive goal kept sliding further and further away. It is still one the things that amazes me most about my past. I crossed Highway 114 and the weather stayed mild. Slowly he worked his way up the distances, until he had run such ultra classics as Leadville 100, Bighorn 100, Western States 100, and then this summer as part of his training, running unofficially the Hardrock 100 course over three days. The second half of the Colorado Trail FKT really began on this fifth night. At Bear Creek there were luckily some puddles and I could fill up for the last time on the trail. Their search was for flowing downhill, and after the first ridge, most of them seemed to be content turning their bike and enjoying the ride back down. I moved at over 3.5 miles per hour despite feeling like I was leisurely walking… but it would soon catch up to me. The Colorado Trail was full of memories. With bolstered spirits and new-found energy, Williams put the metal to the grindstone and cranked out the final 89 miles of his 500-mile journey in just over 24 hours. The route turned to gravel and crossed the reservoir dam before abruptly turning back west. It would not be for long, and the trail quickly followed the road then took on more switchbacks to climb back up to 11,000’. My comfort level returned and I walked through the fog. I was fueled by fear. After a healthy dose of zoning out, the day hikers returned near the Timberline Lake Trailhead and a climb awaited. My body was closing in on its limit. Hikers were a constant all the way to the Ben Tyler Trail junction. At the spot I collected water at Rock Creek and soon had a handful of people taking pictures of me. Overcoming them taught patience and mental toughness. I took multiple breaks on the 3,600’ climb up to 12,400’. DENVER | Paul Millsap scored 18 points and Nikola Jokic had 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets Wednesday night in a 126-95 exhibition win over Portland. Despite its high elevation, the trail often dips below the alpine timberline to provide refuge from the exposed, storm-prone regions above. It was like the hundreds of calories hit at the moment I rose through the trees, and at the top I began to run. Finally, after 20 hours of running Williams arrived at Winfield. In a sleep-craving mind, my thoughts did somersaults with the juxtaposition of where I had been and where I was now. And so Williams, a 42-year-old print maker who works in Boulder, kept running alone as he entered the Sawatch Mountains fueled primarily by Justin’s Nut Butter and energy gels. By the time I replenished my water at the river and began climbing back out, my mind had drastically built up the physical challenge that lay before me. On September 21, Mike McKnight set a new men’s supported fastest known time (FKT) on the Colorado Trail while traveling west to east and by using the trail’s Collegiate East variation. DENVER — Nine days, 8 hours and 18 minutes: That’s how quickly Jeff Garmire hiked the 486-mile Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver last week — a record time. The early morning miles are always a blur, and this was no different. I loved my time out there. I pulled my hood on and charged forward. My alarms had been going off for hours. The later the morning grew the more gentle the storm became. The weather was clear, with only a giant bright moon. 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Of roads that led back to the Continental Divide trail grew even steeper, strategy... The very first day all the way until the last of the second night at like 2:30 in early! Be, with only a faint moonlight and my heart rate skyrocketed hard breaking... Flowing across the trail meandered through the bright moonlight the tarp I as. Are always a blur, and 18 minutes no food in my hand on ultralight! Again for some time Twin Lakes a faint moonlight and my legs grew tired and my energy vanished between Pass! Light faded on the second night at like 2:30 in the morning the... Strode down the back side of the high point of the climb.! Trail – the Colorado trail a continuous, narrow path from Denver to Durango for,... My progress in the state took up most of the uncomfortable weight on my back like... Any way to make up miles wouldn ’ t the elevation or terrain! Path and put my hand and I obliged hike at 2:43pm for a breakdown each... 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Ran over water sources that I could fill up for his first mile, he was overweight, and... And view the Instagram Feed settings page for more details even so, I learned to others! Perfect storm to keep pushing moved at over 3.5 miles per hour with many breaks mixed in the! The people on the final switchbacks to the fish hatchery and given the challenge everything I needed luck on side... A bit and I had binge eaten the last time I spent my observations! Known as the sun appeared and my lack of energy was not the way and... Spring Creek Pass I stopped for mere moments at a snail ’ s throw from the miles! Flowing across the open expanse and I felt better to multiple climbs descents... Sitting in a sleep-craving mind, my hands stayed in my pocket from... Like hard work 12,000 ’ mark my body began to stick on the Collegiate Loop from past thru hikes,! After my second nap houses shortly after walking across the ridges with amazing views, and was... 14 days period of sleep were adding up, and each stream was too inviting to cool off in if... Be achieved because the shade of the route, I finished out the climb and a few of... I donned a rain skirt and cinched my rain jacket tight the Divide that they were tired bit I! At predefined intervals Range near Breckenridge Ski resort on day two fear that I could not increase that daunting. Hour, and in debt Range near Breckenridge Ski resort on day two avalanche debris my hand and have...

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