Guest OLYMPIAN WALLACE SPEARMON, JR. Editor
What’s New this Summer at
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH
BAREFOOT RUNNING? APRIL/MAY 2010
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Join the American Running Association (ARA) and our partner Youth Runner Magazine (YR) this May 6, 7 or 8 to run a mile. Why the Mile?
Is it because all speed is measured in miles per hour? Or is it because it is the standard unit of distance measurement from one town to the next? Maybe it's because it's the best way to start a fitness program in America. The NATIONAL RUN A MILE DAYS is a great opportunity to get boys and girls interested in getting in shape and measuring their fitness level. It is also a chance to run one of the great track events in history, the mile. Our NATIONAL RUN A MILE DAY celebrates the barrier broken back on May 6, 1954 by Roger Bannister of the United Kingdom who became the first person to break the 4 minute barrier in the mile. Commit to "BE A MILER". Your goal can be simple. Run four laps on the track. PE classes in schools can choose either May 6 or May 7 and have all classes in the school participate or get a club or group to participate on Saturday May 8.
Groups May Receive:
• Pre-printed RUN A MILE DAY certificates to hand out to all participants • Opportunity to purchase discounted MILE RUN DAY t-shirts • Post photos for groups on the ARA and Youth Runner websites • 8 weeks Mile Training Program for youth participants • Your stories printed in Youth Runner and on the ARA website • Event Operations Guide to organize your own "NATIONAL RUN A MILE DAY" event
Date: May 6, 7, or 8, 2010 Where: Your city, town, and school. A high school track would be best. When: Anytime that day Who: Elementary aged youth up to senior citizens If you are interested in RUNNING A MILE as a group or school, email and/or call ARA: e-mail: email@example.com and call Dave or Maria: 301.913.9517 x12 or 13
BE A MILER! An American Running Association Production™ • www.americanrunning.org
Interview with Olympian
Wallace Spearmon, Jr.
14 What's New this Summer at AAU 8 Pack a Power Lunch 23 What's the Deal with
25 Shoe Review
4 AAU Photo Spread 6 Guest Editor Wallace Spearmon, Jr. 24 Coming Up In Track-AAU On the Cover Saundria Martin. She is a Bantam girl on the Imani Track Club in Southern California. Photo by Smotherman Images
APRIL/MAY 2010 | YOUTH RUNNER
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“Breaking Records at AAU Nationals!” Photo by Photo by Debbie Batz APRIL/MAY 2010 | YOUTH RUNNER
VOL. 15 ISSUE 2
FROM: THE GUEST EDITOR
Wallace Spearmon, Jr.
unning fast is something that's always come naturally to me, but I never thought I’d be a track star. As a kid, my dream was to be in the NFL, sprinting across goal lines--not a finish lines. At Fayetteville high school, I played football and basketball and only ran track in the spring to sharpen my speed as a wide receiver. My ultimate goal was to play college football. But living in Fayetteville, dubbed the “Track Capital of the World” for being the home of the University of Arkansas track and field team, there was no way to avoid the sport. I guess you can say that track finally picked me in the long run. As I stand here today, there’s no denying that track was the right choice. Every time I get in the starting blocks I can’t wait to show everyone how God has blessed me with these talents, and I want to use them to the best of my ability. At the same time, I want to give people a reason to cheer, to make it fun to go to a track meet. Track has given me so much, so many opportunities. I’m very excited about my new role as a Saucony athlete. The team there feels like a family, and I’m looking forward to accomplishing great things with them, both on and off the track. Through the Saucony Run For Good Foundation, I’m going to be able to reach out to kids with the “Wallace Spearmon, Jr. Run For Good Grant” to be awarded twice a year to youth track and field organizations that enable more kids to enjoy the benefits of the sport. I'm really excited about this! “Naturally Gifted Naturally” -- I’ve got that tattooed on my right shoulder. I believe that every one of us is born with the gift to be great at something. Are you a natural born jumper? Do you naturally love the anaerobic rush of a sprint? Do you love the natural feeling of a muddy cross country course? Or is your natural born gift the mental toughness and tenacity that all athletes aspire to? Remember, no matter how gifted you might be, success only comes through hard work and practice. In the 7th and 10th grades, I didn’t even make the track team! I had the ability, but not the desire to do the work. A few years later, I set the American record in the 200m while winning the NCAA's my final year in college at the University of Arkansas and then, in 2008, I was proudly representing the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics. Realizing your natural talent is the first step, but it ends there. The ability to work hard, I’ve learned, is the real gift.
Photo Courtesy of Saucony 6 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY 2010
Publisher/Editor Dan Kesterson Editor-at-Large Ian Kesterson Guest Editor Wallace Spearmon, Jr. Contributing Writers Shelly Wyrick, Leo Collins, Mike Bergmann, Cregg Wienmann-The Running Network, Courtney Brown, Jeff Arbogast, Mick Grant, John Molvar Art Direction and Design Byron Sina, Sina Design Product Review Team Shelly Wyrick, Jim Franklin, Rasberry Conklin, Kaitlin Christiansen, Jonathan Kaye, Marsha Robinson, Chris Jacobsen Photographers Greg Smotherman, Steve Klotz, Sean Kesterson, Debbie Batz, Diane Lyons, Disney Wide World of Sports Website-Digital-Video Jared Ray, Sean Kesterson, Jonathan Huffman, Jeremy Kester Thanks Tony Staley, James Parker, Debbie Batz, Pam Marshall, Rachel D'Orazio, Chris Martin, and the rest of the AAU Crew ADVERTISING-SPONSORSHIPS firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTION RATES US One year: Digital $13.95, Print $19.95 Subscribe at Youthrunner.com For Customer Service or questions about your subscription Call 1-800-999-9718 PUBLISHED BY Youth Runner Magazine is published 5 times a year by GoSportz Media, LLC Copyright 2010, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Editorial contributions are welcome, writers guidelines available at youthrunner.com. GoSportz Media, LLC, and it’s publisher assumes no liability for the content or opinion of it’s writers or advertisers and reserves the right to reject any advertising at it’s own discretion. Youth Runner recommends that you consult with your coach and your physician on changes with your training, fitness and health issues.
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By Shelly Wyrick, PT
hat’s for lunch? With all the health food bars, sports supplements, and hydration options, deciding what to eat can be overwhelming. Why can’t there be a simple guideline for student athletes? There is. The food pyramid has been around for years and is a great guide to packing a power lunch because it includes everything you need: carbohydrate, moderate amounts of protein and a little fat (yes I said fat). Visit www.mypyramid.gov for information on each food group: grains, vegetables, fruit, oils, milk, and meat and beans.
“Carbohydrates are a vital fuel,” according to Susan Osborn, RD and former cross country coach. Carbs are broken down into glucose and glycogen to provide the #1 source of energy for your working muscles. Be carb savvy. In recent years low-carb diets have been popular, but for the long distance runner, severely decreasing your intake can lead to fatigue and impaired performance. While breads and pasta are obvious choices, be sure to look for the word “whole” on the list of ingredients unless you are preparing a pre-race meal.
Protein is key. It helps build muscle and repair micro-tears that occur with endurance workouts. Proteins also help make red and white blood cells which bring oxygen to muscles and help fight infection. But how much is enough? The growing teenage athlete needs between 0.7 - 0.9 grams of protein per pound body weight. In other words, a 140lb runner needs between 98 and 126 grams of protein per day. While meat is a protein no-brainer, milk is a natural blend of both protein and carbohydrate, making it an ideal choice anytime, especially as a recovery drink following a grueling workout.
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You need fat. Eating disorders can kill you and the obsession to be thin will slow you down. Susan teaches high school athletes that fat keeps our cells healthy and helps to absorb vitamins. She encourages focus on “good fat,” also called monounsaturated, which is abundant in foods such as olives, avocados, and nuts.
Hot or Cold
You’ve got 30 minutes to get from your bed to first period. What should you do? Pack a lunch or trust that the lunch lady will serve a perfect race day meal? As to whether sack lunch is better, Susan explains it “depends on what is being served for hot lunch and what food and beverage kids bring in sack lunch. With sack lunches, athletes have more control of selecting healthier foods.” In a time crunch, think about the pyramid. A simple PB&J on whole grain bread has carbohydrate, protein, and a little fat – not a bad choice. Make a variety of easy-to-grab foods available ahead of time. Stock the cupboards and fridge with baby carrots, apples, bananas, nuts, yogurt, granola, string cheese and whole grain crackers. Prepare other foods such as hard boiled eggs or veggies and hummus ahead of time so they are easy to pack in the morning.
The food you eat prior to competition should be a continuation of your nutrition plan every other day of the year. Again Susan encourages carbohydrate, moderate protein, and low fats. You won’t get fast without training, and likewise, your body may not digest pre-race foods without practice. Eat familiar foods, nothing new on race day. Use trial and error before your hard workouts rather than when you have pre-race jitters. When you find something that works – stick to it. And to drink? You
should be drinking plenty of water every day, but be sure to top off the tank the night before competition rather just before the start. You’ll also want to provide plenty of time for food to absorb. Susan’s guidelines are to allow 3-4 hours to digest a large pre-event meal, 2-3 hours for a small meal, and 1-2 hours for a snack. If you tend to get an upset stomach before, during, or after competition try eating low fiber foods such as white bread, bagels and refined cereal. Eating a variety of foods that include carbohydrate, protein, and a little fat will give your body the edge you need for long distance training. And with a little pre-planning, you can have a perfectly well balanced diet in the bag.
Stuck with hot lunch or fast food? Make good decisions even when eating on the run: • Select grilled/broiled/baked foods • Avoid fried foods • Ask for double veggies on sandwiches • Order low fat milk or 100% juice • Salad or baked potato • Veggies & chicken on your pizza • Easy on the cheese
Prime Protein: • Chicken (4 oz) 35g • Sirloin Steak (4 oz) 34 g • Tuna (4 oz) 27g • Turkey slices (4 oz) 25g • Baked Beans (1Cup) 14g • Peanut Butter (2 Tbs) 9g • Milk (1 Cup) 8g • Egg (1) 6g
Shamrockers Running Club at Disney World
Coach O and Olympian Maurice Green at the AAU Northern Indoor Champs
Medal time at the Rookie Run
10 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY 2010
Chelsey Sveinsson after finishing 2nd at Footlocker Nationals. She was also the winner of the Nike Cross Nationals in 2008
AAU Race Start
Megan Goethals was the Footlocker Champion this year at Nationals in San Diego, CA
Finish line at the Houston Kids Run
So it is true, kids with mustacheâ€™s do run faster
APRIL/MAY 2010 | YOUTH RUNNER
I N T E R V I E W
W I T H
O L Y M P I A N
Wallace Spearmon Jr.
Naturally Gifted Naturally Photo by Steve Klotz
12 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY 2010
YR: Wallace, thanks for answering some questions and congratulations on the Saucony partnership. We've watched you compete a few times now but our readers of young track & field athletes would like to know how you got started with running. WS: Let's do it! YR: Did you belong to a USATF or AAU Youth Club? WS: No, I didn’t have access to a USATF or AAU Club as a kid.
YR: What advice can you offer to kids that are just starting out in track? WS: Track and Field is not always the most popular sport, but if you’re interested in it, just stick with it and good things will happen!
YR: Any advice for the really serious competitors that want to follow in your foot steps?
WS: Train Hard! YR: We have a whole lot of overweight kids in this
YR: Do you remember your very first track meet? What event did you compete in?
country right now.....what would you say to inspire that group into getting off the couch?
WS: I was 9 years old, it was the Hershey meet in Fayetteville and I ran the 100m and the 200m.
WS: I like to play video games too, but playing sports can be a lot of fun. Not everyone is going to be a champion, but take the first step and get outdoors! One of the reasons I’m excited to be running for Saucony is their commitment to help kids get active. The Saucony Run for Good Foundation helps fund organizations that support running programs for kids. I’m honored that one of the grants is in my name and is specifically for youth track and field programs.
YR: Can you tell us what your best times were for your favorite events through high school?
WS: 21.4 for 200m; 10.7 for the 100m, and 24' 9" for the long jump.
YR: What was your most memorable race ever? WS: Without a doubt, setting the American record in the 200m while winning the NCAA’s my final year in college at University of Arkansas.
YR: How about the worst or most disappointing race? WS: 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; I finished 3rd in the 200m but was disqualified for stepping on the line.
YR: How did you get back on the track and go again after a tough loss?
WS: It’s never fun to loose. I wanted to get back out and compete.
YR: What was the best advice a coach or role model ever gave to you? Advice that stuck with you and that maybe you still use everyday? WS: Always run to win each time you step on the
Food: Mexican Color: Black Best movie seen lately: Avatar Music-song-band: The Dream What you do besides live and breathe track: Ride motorcycles and play basketball
Height: 6'3" Weight: 187 lbs. Current records: • 200m NCAA and American Indoor Record • World Indoor 300m • World 4x400m Record
track, but even if you loose, always walk with your head held high. APRIL/MAY 2010 | YOUTH RUNNER
t's going to be another action packed summer at the AAU with the West Coast Championships, Club Championships, the new Primary Championships, and the Junior Olympic Games in Virginia. For information on where your national qualifying meet is this year go to aauathletics.org or aau.youthrunner.com
W H AT ' S N E W T H I S S U M M E R AT T H E
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A M AT E UR AT H L E T I C U N I O N 2010
INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD INDOOR TRACK
Olympian and all around big dog sprinter Maurice Greene was present and talking to the kids that participated in the Northern Indoor Championships this year at Bloomington, IN. Over a thousand athletes showed up to show their stuff in a standing room only crowd of parents and spectators cheering on the competitors. Coach O was on hand and they even had a live webcast of the meet.
The 2009 championship were held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. Runners get a wide start on an open field but eventually they the course goes to some roads and trails through the woods… and on race day it rained on and off so the course got muddy and wet. Kyle Polman showed us how it was done in the Boys Youth race with a winning time of 13:21.70, followed by Tretez Kinnaird in 13:29.00 and Michael Wegner in third place 13:32.70. Phoebe Morss barely edged out Kelsie Schwartz for the win in the Girls Youth with times of 15:01.00 & 15:01.80 with Mackenzie Barry right there in 15:03.30 Check out results, photo galleries, and the video playlist at aau.youthrunner.com
JUNIOR OLYMPIC GAMES
July 31st – August 7th qualifying athletes will head to Hampton Roads, Virginia for the AAU Junior Olympic Games. That means if you stay focused through your local meets, do well at districts you’re going to nationals. Check the AAUathletics. org for all the details and travel information. Compare your times to last year’s results, photos and stories at aau.youthrunner.com
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APRIL/MAY 2010 | YOUTH RUNNER
OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD
18 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY 2010
A M ATEUR ATHLETIC UNION 2010
The 2010 Primary National Championship is now a qualifier for the AAU Junior Olympic Games! The top eight (8) athletes and relay teams from the combined results of each event and age group competing in AAU Junior Olympic Games events (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 4x100m Relay, Shot Put and Long Jump) will advance to the 2010 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Norfolk, VA. New Schedule: • July 9, 2010 – Registration and Packet Pick-Up • July 10, 2010 – Multi Event/Track & Field Competition • July 11, 2010 – Track & Field Competition The following NEW Events have been added to the Primary National Championship: • Primary 7 & 8 – 40m Hurdles (P7G, P7B, P8G, P8B) 4 Hurdles, 24in. in height, 10m from start to first hurdle, 5.5m between hurdles, 13.5m from last hurdle to finish. • Primary 7 & 8 – Turbo Jav 300g (P7G, P7B, P8G, P8B) • Primary 7 & 8 – 1500 meter run (P&G, P7B, P8G, P8B) IMPORTANT: These events DO NOT QUALIFY you for the AAU Junior Olympic Games but do count towards your event limitations.
AAU APRIL/MAY 2010 | YOUTH RUNNER
A M AT E UR AT H L E T I C U N I O N 2010
CROSS COUNTRY The 2010 AAU Club Championship is proud to be part of the ESPN Rise Games Rise to the challenge at the ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target. Hosted at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World® Resort, the 2010 event will welcome over 13,000 athletes from eight sports, featuring elite high school competition and youth competition aspiring to rise to the next level. ESPN Rise Games Opening Ceremonies. Athletes will be treated to a one-of-a-kind opening ceremonies Disney style on Saturday, July 17th in Champion® Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They will feature Disney Entertainment, an on-field experience, fireworks, and celebrity appearances. The ceremonies will be at 7:00 pm. New Schedule: • July 12 – 13, 2010 – Multi Event Competition • July 14 – 18, 2010 – Open Track & Field Competition The following NEW Events have been added to the Club Championship: • Sub Bantam & Bantam 60m Hurdles - 6 Hurdles, 27in. in height, 11m from start to first hurdle, 6.5m between hurdles, 16.5m from last hurdle to finish. • Sub Bantam & Bantam Turbo Jav (400g) • Sub Midget & Midget Turbo Jav (400g) IMPORTANT: These events DO NOT QUALIFY you for the AAU Junior Olympic Games. They will be scored for club competition and will count against your age division event limitations. • Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists will also receive ESPN Rise Games Medal! • Top 8 Athletes Advance! This is your LAST CHANCE to Qualify for the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Norfolk, VA!
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APRIL/MAY 2010 | YOUTH RUNNER
• • • •
Best Kids Races Go the Distance Running Club Phoenix Invitational Highlights Junior Olympics Preview
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Barefoot is Better, here’s a rising conflict on our nation’s T soil. The question under fire is whether or not runners should wear shoes. Each new season brings a shoe review and technology that nearly does the running for you. Perhaps you’ve read my own reviews. Forgive me. I stuck my shoe-clad foot in my mouth as I neglected one detail. Barefoot is better. Or is it?
The Research In countries like Haiti, where people often run shoeless, barefoot runners have fewer injuries. So shoes cause injury, right? Not so fast. Are they shoeless because they run better, or because they can’t afford shoes? Are shod runners (those that wear shoes) getting injured because they can’t afford high-quality shoes? It is a murky debate and experiments in the United States haven’t unanimously proven that one way is better. There is a lot we don’t know for sure, but we can’t ignore scientists saying shoe wearers have more ankle injuries, more chronic problems, and require 4% more energy to run.
or is it? By Shelly Wyrick, PT
form and speed. Tempted by words like speed, improved form, and fewer injuries, I doffed my own shoes. I lasted a half mile before I was clamoring for my foot-coffins. The grass was no problem and in summer I would have made it at least 5 more steps, but it was fall. Things fall in fall. There are leaves, pinecones, twigs and all sorts of prickly debris demanding a fresh appreciation. This barefoot business is not for the timid athlete. But in truth, I could hear my feet a little better. I was running smoother and putting much more thought into my form. I was landing softer. My frame seemed taller. My interest was peaked, but I’m still not quite ready to convert. Who wins? There are runners on both sides of this debate. You’ll also find a shoe industry spending billions of dollars and not likely to concede that barefoot is better. Somewhere in the middle are lightweight shoes, such as the well known Nike Free, which aim to mimic barefoot running. And skimpier, is the growing niche of running gear, such as Vibram’s FiveFingers, that provide nothing more than protection from the elements. So who wins this debate? No one.
Singing a new song That’s the research side of the debate. But the field-experts aren’t wearing white lab coats, unless they’re shoeless. According to Barefoot Ken Bob, of runningbarefoot.org, running in shoes is like singing with your ears plugged. You’re not in tune. When you take your shoes off and pull your finger out of your ear, you can sing the melody. Perhaps that is why runners profess fewer injuries and healthier running in the nude. Nude feet anyway. While oversimplified, Ken Bob makes an excellent point. When your foot hits the ground, it sends signals to your brain that help maintain balance and transmit data about how hard you are landing. The sole of your shoe muffles this communication. With your shoes off, you hear your soles and naturally run “softer.” Softer running means less wear and tear on your foot, knee, and hip joints. Cue the “ah ha” epiphany- it means less injury too. Don’t nail the foot-coffin So why aren’t we all barefoot? Well, there are rocks. There are glass shards. There is ice and snow. And face it, most of us are foot-sissies. Our tootsies have enjoyed a lifetime of support and cushioning. They are weak. “You cannot undo a lifetime of wearing shoes quickly,” points out Tom White of Bueno Vista Colorado. White is a physician, women’s high school cross country coach and advocate of barefoot running. Years of protection leads to dependence on shoes and support. For this reason, White’s cross country team gradually builds into the bare. “We run our kids 2-3 times a week barefoot (on grass), but we started by doing very very little,” White explains. After careful progression, the women do a couple of miles on grass, and if they choose, their speed training. “They love it,” White concludes, and while he admits he hasn’t conducted any objective research, he has noticed few injuries, improved
The rebirth of bareness The answer to this controversy is: moderation. A bit of barefoot would be good for all of us. Initiated with care, it will improve strength, balance, and running efficiency. Athletes with a history of injury may never be appropriate for running without their shoes and orthotics, but even walking short distances barefoot will improve strength and balance. Starting on soft surfaces like grass (think groomed golf course), and sand is best and be sure to check for dangerous debris first. Most of us will never tackle a race without our favorite duds, but the benefits of spending some time barefoot can be reaped in moderation, making us stronger and more efficient in the long run.
Beginner Barefoot Tips 1. Start with 20 minute intervals. 2. Walk short distances barefoot on a hard surface. 3. Run barefoot on sand and grass. 4. Do interval training barefoot on grass in the middle of your usual shoe-clad workout. 5. Jump rope for 5 min increments with shoes on to improve tendon and muscle strength. 6. Wear your racing flats instead of motion control shoes once a week. 7. Whether shoes are on or off, practice running softly, as if you are sneaking up on someone. 8. Don’t stop wearing shoes cold-turkey. 9. Stop if you get new pain in your feet, knees, or hips. 10. As always, if pain does not subside, seek medical attention early.
Editors Note: In just about every running magazine you’ll may read these days there is something about barefoot running. I actually tried that one summer when I was a kid and had more bloody toes than I care to remember. YR is not suggesting you throw away your shoes. Writer Shelly explains what the deal is all about in this article. APRIL/MAY JUNE 2010 09 || YOUTH YOUTH RUNNER
AAU West JO Games T&F Championship Reno, Nevada
AAU Primary National Championship ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Orlando, FL
AAU National Club Championships ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Orlando, FL
31 - Aug 07
AAU Junior Olympic Games Norfolk State University Norfolk, VA REGISTRATION DETAILS go to AAUathletics.org For all the details on hundreds of other local, state, and national competitions go to our
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Coaches and event directors. If your date is not
listed hit ‘contact’ at youthrunner.com and give us the details so we can post.
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RUNNING NETWORK 2010 SPRING SHOE REVIEW
APRIL/MAY 2010 | YOUTH RUNNER
RUNNING NETWORK 2010 SPRING SHOE REVIEW
26 YOUTH RUNNER RUNNER ||APRIL/MAY JUNE 09 2010
! A I N MA 0 1 0 2 , 4 2 l i r p A
April 10 is prelims at Western High School, 4601 W. Bonanza Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89107. Sunrise division competition begins at 9am and Sunset division competition begins at 1pm. Kids will need to go to their PE department to see if their school will be participating. If the school does not participate, the students can still compete as individuals, they (or preferably their parents) just need to contact email@example.com.
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