Does anybody know of anybody who has entered this race in November 2018? With it being in the same month as ARWC, I was wondering whether numbers would be impacted.
I can't tell you who, but I do feel like I recall hearing a couple of people say yes...but good question. I wonder too.
Emily Thorne (TA1 podcast 192) said she'd love to do it but Chris Thorne is racing in Reunion.
Patagonia is such a small field I doubt Worlds will affect it. NorCal is looking at racing in Patagonia.
The team list has been published. Columbia Vidaraid will be represented by different racers at PER and ARWC. Bend Racing/YogaSlackers chose PER.
Here's the race website.
And their Facebook page.
Sleepmonsters reports have started here.
The preliminary schedule on the website says teams will check in and attend opening ceremonies this Saturday, Nov. 17. After another two days of preparation, the race runs from Tues. Nov. 20 to Thurs. Nov. 29.
Is anyone doing the double (ARWC and PER)?
No Brits to defend their title?
"On Sunday November 18th, there will be two captains meetings; this is one notable change from previous editions. At the first meeting at 08:30, held at the Hotel Rey Don Felipe, the team captains will be given the race profile and sections, but no geographical information.
At 20:00 there will be a second meeting, with a second team member allowed, which will serve as the race briefing."
"Although the maps and race sections won’t be revealed until 24 hours prior to the race start, SleepMonsters has the race director’s permission to reveal a little bit of information on what lies ahead.
The first section will be an extremely technical trekking section. Trekking has always been the key to PER and the RD considers the other two disciplines, kayaking and mountain biking, to be merely transitions to the trekking sections. Teams can expect in total, over 200 kilometers of trekking.
As well, SleepMonsters has seen the maps and the sight elicited a sharp intake of breath.
It is safe to say, without revealing too much, that these racers are in for a technical, challenging race. But that’s what they signed up, why so many teams keep coming back and what has created the mystique of the Patagonian Expedition Race. They wouldn’t have it any other way."
"[The RD is] currently monitoring the weather as the forecast is not favourable at the moment. He projected a picture taken two weeks ago on this first section (showing mountains and heavy snow accumulation) and explained that there could still be anywhere from 8-10 meters of snow in parts of this first section, dependant upon how much has melted, and it is the only one in which full mountaineering gear is part of the mandatory equipment.
The first CP, OO, is the only one that will be unmanned, with only a kite to punch. The race is concerned about slower teams arriving at this point on the first night of racing, if the weather is unfavourable. The RD compared the potential bad weather conditions on the first night to being in the Himalayas so a decision will be taken at 05:00 as to when the race actually starts, contingent on this forecast. As if to highlight his point, a strong gust of wind rattled the doors and windows of the room in which the race briefing was taking place.
It is important to note that the 13th edition of PER is taking place in November instead of the month of February when the race is traditionally held. November falls in the austral spring and teams can expect longer days but also colder weather."
As an aside, Sleepmonsters has launched a Patreon campaign and is accepting Paypal donations as an alternative. They've been posting the info at the bottom of each article.
Local time in Punta Arenas is 2 hours later than Toronto/New York.
Sunrise is around 5:30 a.m. and sunset is around 21:30.
Covering a total of 560 kilometers, the route will be distributed in the sports disciplines as follows: 52.7% Mountain Bike, 40.2% Trekking, and 7.1% Kayak
Yogaslackers just did a very interesting live video on Facebook. Captain Jason notes the entire race has 7 CPs.
Just checking if there is a Live tracking Link? I am not seeing anything out there.. Really like to follow along as we raced with Arlette O Rourke at Untamed this summer and she is racing PER for the first time.
Arlette was one of my heroes from Untamed! It was so cool to see her on the list. I've posted on the PER FB page to ask about live tracking. They've provided it in the past. GPS tracking does get expensive for a race with only 10 teams but with only 7 checkpoints, I'd definitely want tracking if I were the RD.
Fingers crossed! and yes there sure are some long stretches between CP's! Be great to follow along. Thanks Barb
Live tracking will be here starting tomorrow. It's a 404 error now.
From SM: "We're pleased to say that Team EAST WIND are back in the game at the Patagonian Expedition Race! Masato Tanaka had flown back up to Santiago to retrieve the team's bike boxes which had been held by Customs for unknown reasons. He and the bikes arrived back in Punta Arenas on the 2am flight. Nothing quite like cutting it fine before a big race start, eh!"
Sounds like the time Canada Customs got ornery and held our rented Yellowbrick trackers for Wilderness Traverse for more than two weeks, releasing them after the race was finished. We were saved by the incredible customer service of Yellowbrick and one of their employees who crossed the Atlantic twice in the same day to deliver us a fresh set of trackers just 20 hours before we handed them out to racers. Yay, Yellowbrick.
Ask and we shall receive! I see the link was just posted on the FB Page shortly after we talked. I think you prompted them Barb.
Let the Dot watching commence!
It gets better! SM posted the maps and this commentary. Can non-Facebook users expand the text and see the photos OK?
Scale- 1:200,000. That’s crazy.
That's so they can fit all of South America on one page. ;)
I'm not able to see them, Bash, but maybe that is because my work network blocks facebook?
Shhhh...don't tell....I AM eating lunch right now...
1:200,000. Sounds about right. It really is amazing people return home from this race;)
I've emailed the maps to the email ID you've listed on your AP profile. If anyone else is similarly Facebook-disabled, write me at the email ID listed on my profile.
Two of the maps have no CPs on them!
I'm not sure what a Reference Point (PR) means at PER. Are teams required to pass through these points even though they're not CPs?
Hey all, I'm one of the members of the BR/YS media team.
The PR points are purely for reference and teams are not required to hit them, I don't believe any of them will be manned. As Bash mentioned above, all of the PC points except PC-00 are going to be manned.
According to the Yogaslackers' media team, the race organizers are working to fix the tracking, which is not currently working, but the Yogis, Columbia, and East Wind have broken out to an early lead.
Hmm, PER doesn't appear on the list of events in the Yellowbrick app, which includes future races that aren't tracking yet. Anyone know if they've typically used a different system?
Naturally, there is no better place than Attackpoint to find the answer to a question like that! Last time PER had a partnership with Delorme, and they used Inreach SE trackers. That won't be the case this year since Delorme sold that business to Garmin. Last time the devices were shipped late and the live tracking didn't begin until Day 5 of the race. After that, it worked very poorly, partly because of the location and weather, so we mostly watched the race on Facebook. I'd forgotten all the other drama - Jason Magness going blind in one eye in the middle of the race, Masato Tanaka of Team East Wind paddling in a neck brace after a horrible bike crash, etc. [Update: This year PER used Garmin Inreach trackers and they worked almost flawlessly.]
From SM: "The race tracking page may not be working, but Anne-Marie Dunhill is! She has sent news the race began at 06.30 after teams traveled to the start overnight.
Conditions were not good with snow at 400m during the morning. We're told the lead 3 teams are close together and are Bend Racing/Yogaslackers, East Wind and Columbia Vidaraid."
Let the Dot Watching begin!
just me, or is there no course outline on the tracking map? I don't seem to be able to see where the TAs are or the recommended route, or anything at all.
There doesn't appear to be a course line on the tracking map. There is a sleep monsters post above that has pictures of all the maps with a recommended route. Best I can see is cross referencing the pictures with what you are seeing on the tracker.
I notice that the maps are all satellite photos with topo lines on top. For the experienced racers out there what is it like to navigate with this type of map? Does it give you enough detail? Is it better or worse than a standard map?
Satellite maps with contours are really rough when navigating, esp. because you don't know the foliage depth on the upcoming route...is it fight, runnable forest, etc, are questions you just can't answer with overhead imagery.
Most AR maps don’t show vegetation so routes are rarely determined using this info. What will make these maps tough is actually the scale and contour intervals which on some of these maps is as large as 1:200k and 100m respectively. The Sat maps will be useful in that you will be able to see what is completely open. Most everything shown in green down there is fight, 1 km per type terrain.
Full screen view for dot watching via Sleepmonsters:
Spirt Of Poland has dropped off the pace quickly. Might be a long time in the bush for them at this rate.
Full screen is better but it sure would be nice if someone could load coordinates for the 7 CPs. That should take less than 5 minutes.
After squinting at the fuzzy Facebook photo of Map 1, it appears that the leaders, Bend/Yoga, passed through the unstaffed PC00 about an hour ago. East Wind are about 20 minutes behind in 2nd place. In 3rd place, Columbia's latest track at 4:21 p.m. seems close to PC00. Currently, it appears that the times shown are the Toronto/New York time zone, rather than local race time, which is 2 hours later.
I'm guessing there may be some further tweaks to the tracking map, now that it's up and running and imperfect.
SM article on the race start and the trek to CP1.
SM says the teams are predicted to take 24 hrs for this section, i.e. the first 55-km trek from the Start to CP1. The race started at 6:36 a.m. local time today, Tues. Nov. 20. SM says it won't be surprising if several teams drop out on this first trek.
Apparently, the two technical mountain passes in this section, Cordon Chacabuco and Cordon Prat, are also on the race route of the Ultra Fiord event put on by the same organizer. There's been some controversy in the ultrarunning community around the safety of Ultra Fiord.
Craig Cook at AR Live Coverage has sketched the race route onto the tracking map for Legs 1, 2 and the start of 3. Trek=green, MTB=red
According to the estimated time on the race book and the distance traveled, probably the top three teams have already passed the CP00. They now are moving towards Cordon Prat.
It's quite strange though the team Spirit of Poland’s pace. It seems they’ve stopped for some unknown reason and are losing touch with the others. Continuing on that pace, they won’t be able to overcome the race’s cut-off time. Soon enough, we will be listening about a team that dropped off. A race with a few teams competing, in a while, probably will have even fewer ones. Just like what it was foreseen for such a strenuous race like that.
CPs have shown up on the race map. You just have to scroll way out to see more than one at a time.
At 9:30 p.m. tracker time, Bend/Yoga is still leading the race with a gap of about 20 minutes back to East Wind. The gap from Bend/Yoga back to Columbia has grown since CP00 - about 1.5 hrs.
At the other end of the field, Xtreme Operations will be the next team to reach PC00 in 1.5-2 hrs. Spirit of Poland is the only other team yet to hit PC00; they're the current Lanterne Rouge.
Btw I had asked on Sleepmonsters' FB page whether they could contact organizers to ask for CPs to be put onto the tracking map. SM is more responsive on social media than the organizers who, understandably, have other priorities. Anne-Marie responded quickly to say that she had passed the request on. She made another comment after the CPs appeared: "Ask and you shall receive." So a big thank you to Sleepmonsters! :)
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Spirit of Poland is either lost or they've stopped to rest and consider their options. All their tracks in the past 2 hours since 8:30 p.m. have been within 100 m. If the tracks are accurate, it looks like they've climbed up and down a bit in the same area, maybe looking for a track or an easier way through.
East Wind is resting at PC01 so Columbia has moved into 2nd place early in Leg 2, a 116 km bike ride. Bend/Yoga is making good time, already past Puerto Natales.
At the tail end of the field, Xtreme Operations is nearing PC00. Lanterne Rouge team Spirit of Poland has reduced the gap and is nearing the top of the pass.
Has anyone figured out a way to remove the old tracks from the mobile version of the tracking map? It looks fine on a computer but on a phone or iPad, it looks like course testing tracks are on the race map.
From SM: Anne-Marie Dunhill has tracked down the leaders of the Patagonian Expedition Race. She found Team Bendracing/YogaSlackers at the Kau cafe in Puerto Natales.
They said the first trekking section was scary and intense in the bad weather and wished all the following teams luck.
Fortunately today the weather is much improved with less wind and none of the non-stop rain of the first day.
The team passed through PC1 at 06.08 this morning and transitioned in just 25 minutes, moving as fast as possible as it was very, very cold.
SM also points out there was a 6 am cut-off at PC00, which the last two teams have missed.
Bend/Yoga has just arrived at PC02 about 3.5 hrs ahead of Columbia. East Wind has been making good time on the bike, gaining on Columbia and now just 20 minutes behind.
Leg 3 is a 47 km trek that looks relatively flat, which probably means fewer scary blizzards but more bogs.
Any word on repercussions for back of the pack teams missing cut off at PC00? I would hate to see teams DNF this early into the race. Has there generally been short course options in PER?
Maybe a previous racer like JayXC would know?
For anyone who missed it, here is Bend/Yoga on top of the 2nd mountain pass (PR01) on the first trek.
I looked at our 2016 discussion and all I found was this: "The Polish team, Spirit of Poland, is the last team on PER to finish the 76km trek. They arrived at CP7 at 10:46. The team had missed the time cut-off yesterday at 12:00 but were determined to finish the section. They have been transported by car to Puerto Natales"
When you miss a cut-off your race is done at the next manned position with road or boat access. Another harsh reality of this race to go along with the terrain and weather.
Wow, too bad. Thanks for the input!
Ouch. The cut-off at PC01 is 10 pm tonight. It looks like all the teams except the back two will make it. Xtreme Operations is now in last place after getting confused around PC00.
The toughest part of the second trek will be crossing the three glacier-fed rivers.
2011 PER trekking
If anyone wants a better understanding of what PER is like from the inside, check out JayXC's excellent report from 2011.
Bend is at the first river crossing 3.5 hours into trek. Columbia and EastWind are both at TA.
Judging from the photos and race stories, I assume everyone is wet and cold, except maybe Team #8 as they just passed through town and might had been able to get some food and dry out.
Does not appear that Spirit of Poland or Xtreme Ops Racing is going to make it out of the valley before the sun goes down on day two. Likely getting close, if not already at, the point of running out of food. The fun of four people sharing one bag of Cliff Blocks brings back memories.
Leaderboard after the first 40 hours:
1.- Bend Racing/YogaSlackers (Team 3)
2.- Columbia VidaRaid (Team 16)
3.- East Wind (Team 2)
4.- Terra de Gigantes Selva (Team8)
5.- Equipe Harpya XP Investimentos (Team 9)
6.- Dar Dingle (Team 4)
7.- Patagonia 4 Barth (Team 17)
8.- Freemind Italy (Team 14)
9.- Xtreme Operations Racing (Team 6)
10.- Spirit of Poland (Team 12)
Btw it's been confirmed that we're all seeing tracker times based on our own time zones so from now on, I'll convert to the race time zone.
Around midnight on Day 2, Bend/Yoga is about 60% of the way through the boggy Leg 3 trek after 9+ hours. Columbia is 3.5 hours back, and East Wind is half an hour behind them.
Next up is Leg 4, a 147 km bike ride.
When team captains received the laminated cards with cutoff times everyone was told that the times marked in black, the first half of the race, are pretty flexible. The times written in red are not flexible.
Good to know, thanks! The two teams at the back spent another cold night out on the Leg 1 trek. Xtreme Operations will soon start the climb to PR01, then it’s all downhill to PC01. Spirit of Poland stopped shortly after finishing their descent from PR00 so they still have to travel down the valley for a few hours before they start climbing again.
At 10 am local time, Bend/Yoga is still stomping through bogs on Leg 3, 4 hrs ahead of Columbia and 4.5 hrs ahead of East Wind. If the upcoming terrain is similar, they have another 3-ish hours to PC03.
All three lead teams stopped for 4-ish hours to rest last night. Bend/Yoga must have put their tracker face down while camping since there are no tracks during their rest. That will have drained their battery a bit.
Video of Bend/Yoga on the turba on Leg 3. They say they got 3 hours of sleep last night. They were in and out of PC03 quickly and are now out on the 147 km bike leg.
Darren. Has an image of the laminated cards been shared? I haven’t seen cut off time posted.
It was included in the set of maps shared on Facebook by Sleepmonsters. Scroll up in this discussion to see them. I downloaded the images and gave them meaningful names because I knew the Facebook photos would drive me crazy. If anyone wants a set, they're small files and I'm happy to email them. Write me at the email ID on my AP profile.
Looks like Spirit of Poland might be opting to go around the final pass. Based on there track it seems they will be skirting the south mountain instead of making the climb to the pass. Must really be hurting now being out there so long with very little to no food left.
I wondered if they might be heading toward what looks like a ferry dock south of them. If they'd started the climb, they would have been out another night, and maybe they weren't prepared for that.
At almost 4 p.m. local time, Xtreme Operations is at PR01, the top of the final pass on the Leg 1 trek. Their "flexible" deadline to reach PC01 was last night at 10 p.m. From their current position, it took Bend/Yoga 2.5-3 hours to reach PC01 in the dark.
Good Call Bash, now that the track has refreshed they are pretty well at the ferry dock. I wonder if they are looking to resupply or pickup. I would guess probably pickup at this point.
I wondered if they contacted the race organizers and were directed to go there for pickup. They stopped for the "night" before 4 p.m. yesterday and didn't get going until 7:30 a.m. today even though sunrise was 5:20 a.m.
Also, their tracker was broadcasting at shorter intervals this morning, which makes me think they were hitting buttons - or maybe someone changed their settings from afar.
From what I've heard Spirit of Poland has had an injury, I believe a dislocated shoulder. I think they asked for extraction by helicopter, but I'm not sure if that is what they are getting.
Aw, so sorry to hear that. Thanks for the update. Hope you're staying warm and dry!
As they arrive at PC03, Bend/Yoga talks about the first trek - one of the gnarliest things they've done in all their years of AR.
Except the first night on the mountain I'm staying pretty warm and dry... almost too much. I'm obviously not out in the bush enough.
^ Glad you guys are enjoying my interviews. Hopefully it adds something to the conversation. I have a few from the other teams at PC01 I need to find and post.
Awesome - thanks, Darren. Keep up the good work! If you get a chance, please tell Alex "Bravo! Allez, allez, allez!" from his Canadian AR friends. :)
From SM at PC03: amongst other things, it explains Spirit of Poland's unusual track.
"At 08:56 at PC-03 the RD informed me that Spirit of Poland had contacted the race HQ and asked for a helicopter extraction off the first trekking section. Apparently Marta had a shoulder issue that made it impossible for them to continue. They explained that the race helicopter was only for absolute emergencies and after looking at the team’s private insurance policy, a helicopter was dispatched using their insurance. Two members of the team helicoptered out and the other two walked off the mountain.
The RD confirmed that the Polish team had arrived safely to Puerto Natales."
XTreme Operations is having trouble.They reached the peak south of PR02, the start of the descent into the valley that leads to PC01, but either they weren't sure where they were or they didn't like what they saw. They descended a few hundred meters in the direction they'd come from, went a little south, then climbed back up to the spur south of the peak at the head of a parallel valley heading east. It would be a very steep descent from that point. Now they've turned back west again. According to Sleepmonsters, they'll be out of the race at PC01. At the time of the SM article, there had been no communication from the team. They're still moving but they must be low on food. It had looked like they would get to PC01 before dark but that is impossible now. From their current position, they could go back down to the main valley, hike south and arrange a ride from the ferry stop.
Great post by SM on Facebook:
Team Xtreme Operations Racing have a pretty interesting history. Here are some factoids:
- The Captain is a West Point graduate
- 2 are neurosurgeons
- 1 is a top notch lawyer
- ALL of them are AR newbies
- Alan Villavicencio only arrived at the race HQ during the captains' briefing. He'd been deep in surgery until the last minute, just managing to make the flight out
- The 3 men have a deal: if one of them enters a race and pays the entry fee, the others have to join in
- the 3 men met Arlette O'Rourke via Facebook
- Arlette only started adventure racing this year, in summer(!)
- Arlette only started running in 2018
- Arlette runs her own catering business, which doesn't leave her much time to train, but she's now hooked. :)
They're currently having a real problem trying to locate the CP at the top of the pass at Cordon Pratt, a location the RD was most worried about, especially for the slowest teams. It's the only unmanned CP en route. They've been at altitude for over 5hrs now.
As Anne-Marie Dunhill reported, when the team makes it down to PC01, that will be the end of their race. They are too far behind the rest of the field, but what an introduction to the DEEP end they've experienced!
They've made a beeline north and intersected the route they took up to the peak. Will they go up or down?
At midnight, Xtreme Operations is back in the valley and appears to be heading south to the road to catch a ride in the same place Spirit of Poland did.
Bend/Yoga has finished the 147 km Leg 4 bike ride and has transitioned to the 89 km Leg 5 trek. This is hillier than the last trek, which hopefully means less turba but definitely means more climbing! They expect it to take 48 hrs.
They've maintained a 3.5 hr lead over Columbia, who have not yet arrived at the transition at PC04. The big change is that Columbia now has a 4-hr lead over East Wind. All the other ranked teams are still tramping through the turba on Leg 3.
Bend/Racing says hello to the folks at home before they start the next monster trek.
Bend/Yoga talking sleep strategy on the previous trek.
Update from Sleepmonsters on Xtreme Operations:
They've been unable to get across Paso Pratt and backtracked down into a valley where they have stopped in the forest for some time now.
The valley leads down to Estancia Perales on the coast, and this is well connected and a good way out for them.
It's a tourist stop with a restaurant and accommodation, there is road access to Puerto Natales (50km) and boat access as its a stopping point for cruises to see the glaciers (though I don't know if they run this time of year).
Its not a difficult trek to get there from their current position and the race says they are taking an alternate route, so it must be Estancia Perales.
(Perales was also the finish line of the last race and is on the Ultra Fiord route, another NIGSA race.)
This is quite a trial by fire for Arlette.
Indeed. A whole lot of adventure, I am sure!
I've also been enjoying watching the progress of Dar Dingle. Had a great time racing against them and crossing paths with Noel and Caroline at Itera two years ago. Saw they are the first three-woman team to race PER. They have really pulled away for a solid fourth position.
And Bend is having a great race. I know SM commented on East Wind looking strong, but Bend has built a 12 hour lead on them now. Impressive showing. Will be exciting to see if Columbia can close the gap. Right now it appears that Bend might have a better route. Columbia looks to be losing time ascending into a glacial ridge according to satellite. Now, Bend is heading into massive cloud cover on the same image, so who knows what they will find. But if Columbia is turned back, they will likely have given up another hour or so. The lead could be up to 5-6 hours (or more) if Columbia cannot get over that ridge.
Does anyone know if Bend has their parcel rafts? How crazy would it be to take the Río San Juan all the way to the open water and paddling down the coast? Is there any chance that might be faster? On my phone I can’t tell at what point it might be floatable.
Welcome back and Happy American Thanksgiving (as we call it)! :)
Bend/Yoga has a 4.5 hour lead over Columbia on the Leg 5 trek . This is even more impressive given that Bend/Yoga trekked through the night with an approximate 3.5 hr rest stop. Columbia took a slightly longer break at the TA before starting the trek and began just before sunrise so they’ve been trekking in the light.
I doubt Bend would carry packrafts on the off chance the river is navigable. They expected to need 48 hrs of food so their packs are already heavy. Also, the river has lots of twists and turns so it looks slower and colder than trekking. Extra points for creative thinking though! :)
For those who didn’t read the story linked above about the Ultra Fiord trail running event that crosses the passes on the Leg 1 trek, it is known to be a very technical area so it’s not surprising that it defeated two teams. A runner died in 2016, and some very experienced ultrarunners dropped out in 2015 because they believed it to be unsafe. A Canadian runner wrote about finding only four of eight promised aid stations. Etc., etc.
Bend did use their Thermorests to float down a creek in the past. They carried their drysuits to enable it but still ended up very cold IRC. I would be surprised if they tried that again.
BRYS brought two scout packrafts to Chile but on registration day DAR Dingle pointed out to Jason that there is a little note at the bottom of the rules that says ‘no packrafts’.
Columbia looks to be closing the gap a bit Bend. Down to about 3 hours again?
Bend/Yoga stopped just after 11 pm. They’re still there 4.5 hours later.
Columbia is about 4.5 hours behind Bend/Yoga now. They stopped around 9:15 pm just after sunset so this is a long break for them.
East Wind is 5-ish hours behind Columbia although it’s hard to compare because they’ve made the choice to head west to the Rio La Caleta valley and stay low (and boggy?). They also stopped around 11 pm.
DAR Dingle is the only other team on the trek and they also camped around 11 pm, less than an hour after leaving the TA. I wonder if the weather deteriorated around 11 pm - or maybe everyone is just exhausted! :)
Bend/Yoga started trekking again at 4:30 am and now have a 5-hr lead over Columbia, who began moving at 5:30 am after an 8-hr stop. East Wind was the early bird, beginning their trek at 3:30 am. Their low route was slower, as they are now a little more than 5 hours behind Columbia after a much shorter rest. They’ve climbed up and rejoined the others’ route near the PR.
4th place DAR Dingle’s navigator said the last trek was the most challenging navigation he’d ever done in an AR, including GODZone. They are now where Columbia was about 24 hours ago, keeping in mind that Columbia stopped for about 8 hours. DAR stopped for about 6 hours last night.
5th place Terra de Gigantes Selva is the only other team on the Leg 5 trek after a sleep at the TA. 6th place Patagonia 4 Barth just arrived at the TA around 10 am, about 36 hours after Bend/Yoga departed.
The leaders have slept twice on this long trek and are on track to reach PC05 in daylight. Anyone know if there is any dark zone on the upcoming kayak leg?
Bend/Yoga Facebook says it sounds like there will be a kayak dark zone. Kayak legs are often cancelled or cut short at PER based on weather conditions but this could be interesting. If teams continue at current rates of travel, only B/Y has a chance of making PC05 before darkness.
Apparently a member of B/Y’s media team is traveling with them on this trek.
Kayak is cancelled and replaced with biking - no big surprise. So there won't be a dark zone. The sun has just set and Bend/Yoga will take a few more hours to get to PC05. [Update: See below. There is still a dark zone.]
Paddle is canceled. I am not sure if there was supposed to be a time credit for the dark zone, but I'm glad in a way that Bend will have a chance to win it without that question. Columbia will really have to turn it on (though as I write this, I haven't seen the map in some time...so...)
Agreed, Bend has a 4.5 hr lead over Columbia and there isn't much race course left. As we all know, anything can happen in AR!
The dark zone remains! Here are the details from Sleepmonsters.
Here's the official word on the upcoming kayak stage, straight from a conversation with the RD minutes ago, by Anne-Marie:
Yes, it is cancelled. The RD had been holding off on taking that step, watching the weather forecasts, but it has turned. There are now 3 days of bad conditions predicted, making it dangerous if not impossible for the lead 3 teams to paddle the leg.
Ironically, they are so far ahead of the rest of the field, the following teams would likely be able to make the kayak, but not the leaders, so it must be cancelled.
In a new twist, the RD has chosen to retain the dark zone, because the teams will have included it in their planning, and be pushing themselves accordingly.
This means Team Bendracing/YogaSlackers will be able to get a solid rest overnight, which should stand them in good stead for the longer bike leg that will start from PC05, all the way to PC07, vs the chasing Columbia Vidaraid Adventure Team.
The leaders are also taking a fairly direct line to the TA, keeping to the high ground where they can, which should make for faster travel.
At midnight, Bend is more than 6 hours ahead of Columbia - but Columbia stopped at sunset again (9:30 p.m.) whereas Bend has been pushing toward PC05. They are about 6 km away but nothing is easy in this race!
East Wind stopped before 9 p.m. They are almost 7 hours behind Columbia.
4th place DAR Dingle has stopped to camp for their 2nd night on this trek. They'll have to camp a 3rd night before they make it to PC05.
The firm cut-off at PC05 is Wednesday at 6 a.m.
Bend is on the move again after a long nap in TA! Barring mechanicals or injury, hard to imagine Columbia catching them at this point.
Here is a video as they prepared for their departure after a 5-hour stop.
Columbia stopped for nearly all the hours of darkness. At 8 am, they are at Bend’s position from 13 hours ago, and they’ve just had a few dots close together, indicating slow travel in an area where Bend maintained their speed. The RD is keeping the dark zone but I don’t know if that just applies to leaving the TA. The original dark zone would have applied during the kayak leg as well. Columbia may assume they’re just heading toward a long sleep at tonight’s dark zone so they may as well travel in daylight. But if they’re allowed to bike in the dark, that might have changed their strategy.
A good summary from Sleepmonsters:
Hear ye! Hear ye! Fresh on Sunday morning, this is how the Patagonian Expedition Race has progressed overnight:
Team Bendracing/YogaSlackers have reached the TA at PC05 around 3:30am. They arrived wet and cold, after a brutal stretch over the nearby mountains, and are taking a few hours sleep beyond the 6am darkzone to recuperate, with the intention of leaving by 8am. They are still full of chirp, which is a good sign.
Columbia Vidaraid Adventure Team stopped around 9:30pm last night and set up camp. They resumed trekking at approx 5am, but the stop has put a huge dent in their ambitions to take the lead, with Bend Racing at least 10hrs ahead now.
Team EAST WIND also stopped for the night, at roughly 10pm, and as of yet, have not resumed their hike. They look to be at least 6hrs behind Vidaraid.
Regarding the kayak stage: Anne-Marie reports that there is a new permutation for the slower teams: if the weather clears sufficiently by the time they reach the TA, they could choose to kayak. This decision won't affect the lead 3 teams, but will give the others the unique opportunity to paddle this amazing location, without compromising the podium. The kayaks arrived at the TA shortly after the bikes.
Furthermore, the clock doesn't stop during a dark zone, but it does stop during periods when weather pauses the race (if that happens).
Another video from TA5 as Bend talks about the tough trek.
Lanterne Rouge...Harpya XP is closing in on Brunswick Central. They have to arrive there by 3 AM local time tonight (I think). I believe this gives them 5:45...They SHOULD make that as it looks like it's taking 1-2 hours to get there. They then have 51 hours to make it to the end of the leg, which sounds like a lot, but...
If my math is correct: It took Yoga 19 hours to reach the current approximate location of Harpya XP. It took XP 30 hours. From this point forward, it took Yoga 35 hours to complete the leg. By the same ratio, it would therefore take Harpya 55 hours. They would likely miss the cutoff. Freemind is a ways ahead of Harpya, but they too may be in clear danger of missing that cutoff. I'd also have to bet that the pace of the back of the pack teams declines further in relation to Yogas.
I'm guessing that Terra de Gigantes is safe if they keep a steady base. This leaves Patagonia 4 Barth in limbo perhaps. By the same formulas I used to calculate XP, I believe Patagonia has about 43 hours left if they keep up their pace. This allows them to slip a bit and still get in.
After 5 hours of trekking, Bend/Yoga appeared to stop moving for awhile, and now they have backtracked almost to the point where they were 90 minutes ago. I wonder if the terrain is so rugged that they're considering heading south to hit the road instead.
Columbia is at the final TA, PC07. Bend's current position is 4.5 hours ahead of Columbia, and they traveled to that point mostly in daylight.
Lots of great reporting from Sleepmonsters at this race. I love the story about Alex and Chelsea going into a police station to ask for coffee then lying to the others about whether they'd slept.
Bend/Yoga at the final TA. Chelsea and Jason sound *very* married. :)
Bend/Yoga's midnight dot has backtracked a little more but it's pointed in the right direction now. Hmm.
3rd place East Wind finished the monster trek and rolled into PC05 just before sunset. If the dark zone is still applicable tonight, they can leave at 6 a.m.
4th place Dar Dingle stopped around sunset near the place where East Wind made their overnight stop 24 hours ago.
5th place Terra de Gigantes Selva stopped a little more than 4 hours behind Dar Dingle.
I'm hoping Bend/Yoga is sleeping and their GPS tracker is transmitting some random locations but it looks like they're having trouble finding their route.
Do you think Columbia are staying put until sunrise? Will the slackers try to get a "full" nights sleep or will three is hours be enough? If i remember correctly Columbia has settled in for 7ish hours that past few nights, the slackers pretty much pushed through last night. The last video it seemed pretty clear that some members of YS wanted sleep...
Bend/Yoga had some sleep last night but they're not as well rested as Columbia. Bend finished the monster trek around 3:30 a.m. and left PC05 around 8:30 a.m.
Columbia has taken long overnight breaks in this race. Because they are so close to the end, maybe they'll push on after a few hours at the TA. Or maybe they'll take another full night of sleep, thinking that the podium is pretty much settled.
What they don't know is that Bend/Yoga has backtracked so far that only 4 hours of trekking separates the teams now. They were climbing up toward a high point when they paused and then turned back. I wonder if the weather that caused the kayak cancellation has become a factor here.
Since they're the only team with a Canadian, I'm cheering for Bend/Yoga so I'm kinda nervous right now.
Looking at the aerial map, I think Bend may be taking a longer road route after having difficulty finding a direct route.
I think it’s 2am their time now. Has bend settled in to sleep?
From 1-2 a.m., there have been three dots in the same place so yes, they are resting. Chelsea won. :)
Columbia has been at PC07 for 4.5 hours and they stopped all night last night so they might opt for a shorter sleep with only 34 km of trekking left to the finish line. This could get interesting.
Side topic: this reminds me of a discussion we had about whether to ask our volunteers not to tell teams any race info they obtain online because it could affect the race. This is a perfect example of one of those situations.
Fantastic report on the monster trek from the Bend/Yoga media team. Click "See more". (Sorry, Broots - you'll have to ask Abiperk to show it to you on Facebook.)
Bend/Yoga are awake after their nap and heading in the right direction!
Looks like their nap helped. They travelled very well after it and are now only about an hour from the finish.
Way to make it exciting at the end! They’re almost on the final summit, then it’s downhill on a track. Well done!
Columbia didn’t leave the TA until 7:30 am after stopping for 10 hours. There must be a story behind all their long stops in this event but hey, they’re still going to be 2nd so there’s nothing wrong with sleep!
Sleepmonsters says Columbia believes Bend should be penalized. No details.
SM also mentioned rough weather overnight that may have affected teams’ decisions to hunker down.
Columbia on FB:
After canceling the kayak section for great winds in the channel of magallanes the team is standing on the last PC taking advantage of the night. in a few hours they will start running to face the 34 km long trek that will take them to the finish line. the team continues in 2nd position only 4-5h of the first, who have decided to stop at the full stage of trekking.
We hope that team N°3 Bend Racing (in 1° position), is sanctioned for an infringement they did...
Congratulations to Bend Racing / Yogaslackers, who just crossed the finish line near Punta Arenas around 10:40 am. Special “Bravo!” to our friend and Attackpointer, Alex Provost.
I'm wondering if it is related to the media guy that traveled with them through the big trek...
That’s a good guess although you’d think something that major would have been double-checked with organizers beforehand. I remember our friends being penalized at a U.S. race when their support crew went for a walk and accidentally ran into their team approaching the TA (in the days before trackers). As an organizer, I would probably not allow team-affiliated media to accompany a team for any distance because of the perception (not necessarily reality) of possible assistance ranging from extra food or communications to simple moral support. Having said that, the media team member who did the monster trek is clearly a kick ass athlete himself.
Columbia is climbing higher earlier on the final trek, bypassing the area that confounded Bend last night. From their current position, it looks like about 6.5 hours if they travel at Bend’s pace - but they are well rested and will have daylight the whole time so they’ll probably be faster.
Agreed, Bash. Too many questions can come up. I also wouldn't want a media person with me on such a leg, especially if winning the race! What if something happens to him/her? Wouldn't want to wait/manage them. Of course, they might be kick ass as this guys seems to have been, but seriously: one more person who could wrench a knee, break a limb, bonk out...I was surprised they did it on that leg, and I was a bit surprised it was allowed.
Still, waiting to hear the official word. Very curious whether it's this or something we don't know about. It would be a shame if it is a legitimate complaint as I know Yoga has been trying to win this race for a LONG time, and they clearly had an amazing race all things said and done. Fingers crossed it isn't a real issue; I can't imagine that it was something that would make a big enough difference to challenge the rankings, yet it sounds like Columbia thinks it's a big deal.
PER announced Bend/Yoga as the champions on their Facebook page, which makes me think the alleged infraction is not serious enough to affect rankings regardless of the outcome of any protest after Columbia finishes. I'm assuming the organizers know what the allegation is.
Columbia is about 90 minutes away from the finish, traveling about 7 hours behind Bend/Yoga.
East Wind is about 2.5 hrs into the trek in 3rd, approaching the place where Bend/Yoga had their nap in the wee hours.
I see East Wind is taking Yoga's path on the trek, will be interesting to see how they fair through that section.
There's Columbia at the finish around 5 p.m. almost 6.5 hrs after Bend/Yoga.
Btw Bend Yoga's time was approximately 6 days 4 hrs 23 mins.
PER has posted photos of team Columbia Vidaraid, all smiles, and announced them as the runners up. No word about their complaint about Bend/Yoga.
This is the rule:
"Only the team captain can make complaints about any decisions made or procedures followed by organizers and collaborators of the race. Complaints must be in written-form, and can be presented up to one hour after the official finish time of the race. The Race Director will resolve them."
Given the time gap, it seems unlikely that any penalty would make a difference, and PER's announcements are consistent with that.
Thanks guys for all messages and support! What a crazy race! We are all a bit rough on the edges for sure but we feel very good.
Congratulations Alex!!! What an amazing performance!
Fantastic race, Alex! So excited for you guys. Hope you enjoy lots of well deserved sleep and food over the next few days.
Well done, jackson5!! Awesome race. Looking forward to hearing more about it.
East Wind finished in 3rd place, their 4th time on the podium at PER.
The race continues. 4th place Dar Dingle is about 70% of the way through the kayak leg from PC05 to PC06. Yes, some teams will get to use their paddling gear!
Terra de Gigantes Selva is at PC05. The remaining teams are approaching the end of the monster trek. Patagonia 4 Barth has taken a very different route. SM says they went over one of the steepest passes in the area.
Photos of East Wind at the finish line. They got in around 2:30 a.m. and were served sushi with chopsticks. It looks like it might be sushi pizza, which is a Canadian invention. I was curious about whether Punta Arenas had sushi places and it turns out there are seven (!!) sushi restaurants listed with Trip Advisor.
Good recent summary from SM
News from #PER2018 HQ
Team EAST WIND spent the night at Race HQ - they’d planned on sleeping at finish line but RD said it was too cold for them to stay there and brought them back to the organisation's office to get some rest. After racing to third place and getting some well deserved sleep, they've just done all of the office [dish] washing up. Not something you'd expect from most racers after seven brutal days of racing, but continuing the legend of East Wind!
Out on the course, Dar Dingle finished the kayak at around 1pm local time. They were looking good but actually hadn't realised the dark zone was in place. They got four hours sleep before they started the kayak, but said it was difficult to stop racing like that. They also said that a school of about 15 dolphins accompanied them for a long while during the paddle. Since they'd had some sleep we can assume they were real dolphins, not imaginary ones.
Behind them, Terra de Gigantes Selva are now part way through the paddle having set off around 2:30. They'll have a couple of hours of slack water (high tide is 3:34pm) before any current comes into effect. From their last tracker position, they would be able to wave up the valley to Patagonia4Barth who are taking an unusual route and could possibly be overtaken by Freemind Italy. The Italians are in the higher ground around 6km from CP05, the French team are moving parallel to them and are roughly the same distance from the coast but are descending a river valley and will then have an additional 10km to trek southbound along the road to the CP.
It took Terra de Gigantes around four hours to descend from Freemind's current position. If the going is easier down the northern valley, the French could cover ground faster and will then be onto a road. This could be a very interesting race within a race...
I am impressed that it looks like ALL the remaining teams out on course have a shot to finish, though I have not reviewed the cutoffs. I assume the last three teams will be able to paddle tomorrow morning?
It looked like Harpya XP stopped for the night a few km short of Brunswick Central and missed the cutoff there, so presumably that means they are out at PC-05 even if they get there before 6am.
The cut-off at PC05 is 6 a.m. tomorrow, which I think is the end of the dark zone. As Arthurd points out, Equipe Harpya XP was on track to meet the Nov. 26 3 am cut-off at Brunswick but stopped when it got dark. That was a "red" cut-off but they would be able to depart PC05 at 6 a.m. tomorrow so maybe the organizers will give them a break. From their current position at around 6 p.m., it took Bend/Yoga about 6 hours to PC05 in the dark. Equipe Harpya still has a few hours of light left.
From the horse's mouth: I asked Alex about Bend/Yoga's problem on the final night.
"Yeah we got creative on the last evening a bit. We got into a logging area and started micro nav, which is not the way to go here with these great maps. We just went to sleep and knew we would figure it out after our brain got a little break."
Seemed to work just fine!
Well, I don't know if there are details, but it seems all teams have been allowed to continue on. So, it doesn't appear that the RD held Harpya back after they missed that Brunswick cutoff. Seems like a good decision to me!
I’ve been caught by one of those situations where I missed an earlier cut-off and made the next one. I was cut off anyway but I think this RD made the right choice!
DAR Dingle has arrived in 4th! They had the fastest time on the last bike leg. They requested beer at the finish line and it has been chilling.
It’s a beautiful morning. PER Facebook posted photos from the kayak put-in and the ocean looked like glass.
I have always felt that while cutoffs are important, our sport requires RDs to at least be open to flexible decisions. Of course, too often RDs TRY to be flexible to the detriment of racers: information needs to be applied to all who could possibly be affected. But I think this is part of good RDing: RDs need to adapt as they see their vision unfold. We always talk about adaptable ARers need to be, but I think RDs need to do the same.
This is a great example of an RD recognizing that a team should be given a chance to continue despite missing a pre-race published cutoff. It doesn't affect the competition, and they have a shot. And they deserve it in my opinion.
I am not saying the PER RD is the best RD in the world (I don't know that he is or isn't), but I do think some RDs would be better if they showed such flexibility and willingness to admit when their plans were "wrong".
We have been burned a few times in races when RDs had their plan and stood by it even when it was clear it wasn't in the racers best interest experientially.
I'm glad Equipe Harpya was allowed to continue after what they've accomplished so far. Given that they made the next cut-off after missing an earlier one, I think it makes sense that they are allowed to continue. Brunswick wasn't the most convenient place to put a cut-off since it doesn't seem there was any way to enforce it or assist racers off the course.
We don't know whether there was communication between the team and the RD that night. The Garmin Inreach units allow 2-way texting so the team could have requested and received permission to stop early. They could have said they had time to reach Brunswick before 3 a.m. but they preferred to stop at sunset for safety reasons. The RD might have been fine with that.
If there was no communication and no discussion at the race briefing about flexibility of this cut-off time, that's different. It looks like teams missing the Brunswick cut-off were intended to leave the course by traveling northeast to the road leading from Laguna El Parrillar to the coast. If a team fails to respect a cut-off and the RD doesn't penalize them in some way, it sets a bad precedent.
I do understand RDs sticking to the rules as published after hearing so many concerns about fairness in 16+ years of racing and organizing. It's hard to bend a rule to be nice to one team without some other team feeling disadvantaged.
E.g. "The weather was nasty and conditions were slippery but because we had to get past the cut-off by 3 a.m., we continued slowly in the dark, sprained a few ankles, and ended up with a poor sleep in a less desirable location. It's not fair that Team X got away with stopping early." Or "Because we believed the team behind us was cut off, we changed our strategy and did this different thing in the race." (Not relevant in this case.) Or simply, "We made the cut-off and they didn't, and we should no longer be racing head to head. They should be ranked behind us even if they finish ahead."
If I were the RD and I hadn't authorized the team to ignore the Brunswick cut-off, I would likely penalize them in some way to send a clear message to future racers. Maybe it would be a time penalty large enough to ensure they finish behind the teams who made the cut-off. The alternative would be to put them in a different category so they're not racing against the others but I wouldn't want to take away the prestige of a full course finish so a time penalty seems more fair. It would be too harsh in this situation but I could understand an RD DQing a team that ignored a cut-off in order to set a precedent that cut-offs are not optional.
Patagonia 4 Barth has started riding from PC06 to PC07. Equipe Harpya was the next team to arrive at PC06 about 10 minutes ahead of Freemind Italy.
Agree with your opinion on cutoffs and how to handle them, Bash.
Any word on Columbia's complaint?
Not that I've heard.
Great quote about Dar Dingle from SM:
"The team was incredulous when told that they’d made PER history as the only team to have ever finished with three women. Noel looked jokingly miffed and said that next time they’d be coming out as a four woman squad."
I do agree, Bash. I don't mean to say RDs should be careless or lossey goosey with cutoffs. That said, sometimes RDs make bad plans or set cutoffs that aren't necessary. When a team like Harpya "misses" one (though all of your reasoning potentially explains it; and they did stop short of Brunswick with PLENTY of time to make it there) and then comfortably makes the next and clearly is good enough to finish this race, it's nice to see what appears to be flexibility.
Overall, yes, RDs need to stand by their pre-set rules. But there are cases when it is appropriate to bend those. Maybe there was no actual bending in this case: as you laid out, that is plausible. But if they did bend it, I think it was a good call for this team.
I recognize that this is a bit of a pandoras box. More often, RDs DO change rules and they end up screwing up the integrity of the race. And so, yes, I think it's better to stick to it...most of the time;)
Agreed, there are situations where it's clear that you won't hurt anyone by bending the rules a little to be compassionate and reasonable and to give your paying customers a better experience. I've seen that backfire for RDs though, so it requires extreme caution. Most racers aren't complainers but I've had experience with a couple of the worst. If Freemind Italy happens to be that type, they could be miffed that they have dropped to last place behind Equipe Harpya now.
Sigh, I still wish organizers had allowed me to continue the race where I missed the 3 p.m. cut-off but made the 3:15 p.m. cut-off! So I feel for Equipe Harpya. :)
"Most racers aren't complainers" - that has not been my experience - and I'm amongst the loudest :)
Lol, maybe I should change that to: "Most racers complain politely but I've had experience with a couple of the rudest."
Terra de Gigantes Selva finished in 5th place around 9:30 p.m. That's a little more than 8.5 days of racing!
Freemind Italy did not stay in last place. They're moving very well on the final trek and it looks like they might try to push through the night. Like Columbia, Freemind has climbed high early and will avoid the logging area that Bend/Yoga explored on their final night. It took Columbia 4.5 hours in daylight from Freemind's current location.
The other two teams are fairly close together and are approaching Bend's Bermuda Triangle. Patagonia 4 Barth has been stopped for an hour in the dark and will be passed soon by Equipe Harpya.
Nope, Equipe Harpya went to bed after I wrote that. They stopped around 11:30 p.m. whereas Patagonia 4 Barth stopped around 10:30 p.m. just ahead. It looks like Freemind is still moving although they've spent the past 90 minutes going back and forth at the bottom of the final climb, which could be real movement or just some GPS randomness while they nap near a steep slope.
Freemind is climbing the last ridge while the others sleep. Nice work on their final night of racing!
This is an impressive field of teams. I looked back at past results the other day, and few if any editions have had a completion rate like this (80%!). I'd say they are going soft, but the Yogis didn't make it sound that way and they should know. As the RD said, this group of teams came in ready to rock, and they clearly knew what they were getting into.
Congrats to ALL the teams!
Indeed! Really impressive.
Freemind took a very roundabout, down-and-up route at the end but they made it to the finish around 10:45 a.m. in 6th place after pushing through their final night. Bravo.
Patagonia 4 Barth stopped before dark for about 6 hours and got going again well before dawn. They've navigated this section well and are just finishing the final ridge before descending to the finish line.
Equipe Harpya stopped for all the hours of darkness but their dot has been bouncing around like a pinball machine this morning. Their last two dots were in the same position at the base of the final ridge, half an hour apart. They have time to reach the finish but there is a 6 p.m. cut-off. If they move in the right direction from this point on, it's 5-ish hours to the finish line, and they have 6.5 hrs to do it. Go, go, go!
SM's finish line blurbs about the 6th and 7th place teams:
Congratulations to Team Freemind Italy on their finish at the Patagonian Expedition Race.
The team included Andres Bonelli of Uruguay who joined as a late replacement, and was lead by veteran racer Marco Ponteri, who adds a PER finish to his long list of finished expedition races.
The team also included Telemaco Murgia, who organised a race Sardinia some years ago, and Laura Rossi.
Patagonia4Barth have crossed the line at the Patagonian Expedition Race!
The 'family' team of brothers Olivier and Frédéric Decamps, Frédéric's wife Céline, and captain Olivier Renard (the only one not related to anyone else) were racing for the second time in Patagonia, having failed to complete the 2016 edition.
They are raising awareness of Barth Syndrome, an X-linked genetic disorder that causes muscular, cardiac and immune weakness, and also raising money for Association Barth France in the process.
They've made steady progress around the course and crossed the line at 16:07 this afternoon for a well deserved 7th place. Huge congratulations to them!
Equipe Harpya missed the 6 p.m. cut-off but this seems like one of those times when a little benevolence would be appropriate on their 10th day of racing. They'll be at the finish shortly.
And that's a wrap. Harpya makes it in, and the PER FB page announces them as the final finisher. Awesome race!
What's next, other than online Eco sightings?
Maybe we could get Santa to carry a Yellowbrick so we can follow his progress and critique his route choices?
Looks like we might be adjourning our Dot Watchers Panel until GODZone March 10-17, followed closely by Expedition India March 21-31.
We'll just have to find other things to talk about. :)
If anyone is bored, I would love a breakdown of route-choice on the three big trekking legs...
Also, calculating the percentage of dot-coms that sponsored Eco-Challenge teams that are still in business ;>)
Some video highlights from Bend/Yoga’s media team
Teaser from the Bend/Yoga media team
PER 2018 Teaser from Scott Almendinger on Vimeo.
PATAGONIAN EXPEDITION RACE: The Last Wild Race!
LOCATION: Patagonia – Chile
FULL EDITION: November 14 – 27, 2020
Registration OPENS ON January 10, 2019
HALF EDITION: Oct 27 – Nov 2, 2019
Registration OPENS ON January 17, 2019
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