Get Out and Run: First Time Runner

New season, new goals! Running is an excellent way to stay active and get outdoors. Now that the sun is shining, it’s time to hit the pavement with the best intentions. Sporting Life has the essential gear to turn your running goals into reality. Grab a friend or join a group to keep you motivated to get out and run!


Start at your feet with a good pair of running shoes that fit well. Comfort is key to your success, so be sure to select the best shoe for your foot type. These styles provide great support and cushioning that will get you on your way in no time!

Invest in technical gear that wicks away sweat and keeps you cool as you run. A basic run jacket, tights, and shorts are great options for the first time runner. These styles will last a long time and keep you comfortable as you work up a sweat. New gear will get you motivated to start your running journey.

Don’t forget to fuel and hydrate!

It is important to fuel your body before and after you run. It is recommended to eat about 1.5 hours before your run to give your body time to digest and provide your body with needed energy. It is recommended to eat roughly 30-45 minutes after your workout. Fuel tired muscles with our GU energy drink mixes, gel and chews created for daily graining. They contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled, electrolytes that aid in hydration and amino acids that reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage. Try Honey Stinger energy chews and waffles for an energy boost on the go. You can easily store all of your snacks as you run with a handy Spibelt that clips at your waist for hands-free convenience.

Hydration is just as important as being well-fueled. Drink up to 20oz of water prior to your run and continue to drink water as you run to avoid dehydration. We have a large variety of water bottles to suit everyone’s needs and taste. Shop our picks that will keep you hydrated all run long!

Feeling inspired to hit the roads and trails this season? Take your running to the next level and run to support kids affected by cancer at this year’s Sporting Life 10k! Sign up for our races in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. Not sure how to prepare for the race? We’re sharing 10 steps to running the Sporting Life 10k – read here!

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Bike Ride Basics


April showers bring May flowers, and what better way to appreciate this beautiful spring weather than by exploring on your bike? Now that spring cycling has sprung, hit Canada’s amazing trails with the best bike equipment available at Sporting Life.

Last week, we broke down some of the new & exciting bikes coming to Sporting Life this season. If conquering the mountains or speeding down the road isn’t your style, a fitness bike may be the best choice for you. Fitness bikes – also known as hybrid bikes – are general purpose bikes that combine the qualities of a road bike, a touring bike and a mountain bike. The result is a stable, comfortable bike that is suitable for a wide variety of riding conditions – perfect for a novice or casual cyclist!

For those looking for a light workout or a casual weekend ride with the family, keep reading – we’re sharing some of the best places in Canada to take your bikes for a spin, as well as the necessities you need to bring to ensure a safe and fun ride.

Where to Ride

Where will you ride this weekend? After you pick up your bike at one of our stores, stop by one of these awesome trails right in the city. Stay tuned for the start of our weekly evening rides based out of select Sporting Life stores – a great opportunity to improve your cycling and get involved in the Sporting Life community!

– Waterfront Trail – Perfect for short or long rides!
– Toronto Island – Flat & manicured, ideal for family fun in the sun or a romantic getaway!
– Don Valley – Stop in at Evergreen Brickworks for a mid-ride coffee.

– Rideau Canal – Right downtown and easy for families.
– Gatineau Park – Plenty of paved trails with beautiful scenery!

– Nose Hill Park – A quiet getaway within the city.
– Bow River Pathway – 48km network of paths; plan your starting point and see where it takes you!
– Fish Creek Provincial Park – Near our Southcentre Mall location…grab your new bike and go!

What to Wear

Make sure that you are properly clothed for a day on your bike. Spring weather may make us want to jump into shorts and a t-shirt, but the temperature can still be unpredictable. Layer up with technical pieces and dress for the sport – cycle jerseys aren’t only for expert cyclists! Jerseys come in a variety of colours and patterns to spice up your outfit, while still featuring moisture wicking fabric and proper ventilation. Padded cycle shorts are a lifesaver on long, bumpy rides, and gloves add comfort while minimizing fatigue.

A helmet is an absolute must, no matter what your skill level may be. Even paved or groomed trails can have unexpected bumps or obstacles, so it is important to keep your head protected.

Don’t forget to accessorize for the weather! A waterproof shell may save you from a damp and miserable ride home, and sunglasses will eliminate glare and keep you safely focused on the road. Any style will help you on a casual weekend ride – pull out your daily fashion sunglasses, or go sporty with a pair of Oakley Prizm sunnies!

What to Bring

Whether you’re riding for an hour or all day long, there are a few things you should have in your pack to keep you riding strong. The most important thing to remember? Hydration! Staying hydrated is important during any sort of physical activity, and you will likely be far away from a water source while you’re out on the trails. Choose an insulated water bottle to keep your water chilled all day long!

Cycling is an awesome workout and your body needs fuel to keep up the pace. Be sure to toss some snacks – such as energy chews or Clif bars – in your bag to refuel partway through your ride. Find some of these delicious and energy-packed treats at our retail locations.

Depending on the type of ride you’re gearing up for, there are a variety of bike accessories to suit your needs. If you’ll be stopping along the way to refuel, be sure to pack a bike lock to keep your bike safe. A safety light or reflector will also come in handy for early morning or evening rides!

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10 Steps to Running the Sporting Life 10k


Now that the weather is getting warmer and the days are longer, the time has come to start running! You may decide that you want to run a 10k, but are not entirely sure how to start. Don’t worry – we are here to help! We’ve put together 10 ways to make your Sporting Life 10k a run to remember.

1. Register!
You’ve signed up! You’re committed! This will give you motivation to get out there and run.

2. Set the pace, make a plan!
Depending on your fitness level and training goals, aim to run between 3 to 5 days a week. Plan your runs to fit into your weekly schedule – think of your run the same way you would a meeting…put it in your calendar! If your days get too busy and run (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) away from you, think about running first thing in the morning. Not only will it ensure you don’t miss your workout, it is a great way to start the day!

Work with either a time or a distance goal depending on what you want to achieve. Don’t be afraid to take walking breaks. Start to run in 10 minute blocks and add 2-5 minutues to your duration each time you run. By run day, you should be able to run for 1 hour – 1:10 comfortably.

3. Find a friend!
Get your friends to sign up for the race with you. Knowing someone else who is training for the same run will keep you both focused and motivated.  Training with a buddy or joining a 10k training group helps hold you accountable for weekly workouts and training plans- knowing someone is waiting for you will ensure you don’t skip a run!

4. Grab your gear!  
If you haven’t already, invest in a good pair of running shoes.  They should be comfortable immediately; if your shoes aren’t comfortable, you won’t get very far.

5. Mix it up!
Try different workouts in addition to your runs. Incorporate some stretching, core exercises and if possible, add some basic cross training (cycling, swimming, yoga) to help you build strength and flexibility into your program.

6. Don’t overdo it!
Rest and recovery are key components of fitness. You can’t train efficiently if you are tired. Build at least one or two rest days into your weekly plan. Rest enables your muscles to recover and rebuild after a hard week. A training plan, is just that…a plan. The running gods will not descend upon you if you stray once in a while!

7. Tune up with a tempo!
Having a weekly tempo run (a faster-paced workout) is a great way to boost your fitness! A tempo run begins and ends with a 10 minute warm-up/cool-down. Sound complicated? Think of it as speed play. Run a faster pace for one minute, one minute jog at a slower/recovery pace. As you progress, think about increasing the faster running part and/or keeping the recovery relative to the speed component.

8. Fuel with food!
Breakfast should be a must, especially for morning runs and on run day.  Don’t forget a little protein to stay full longer and plan to eat 60-90 minutes before you start to exercise.  Some great combos can include: nut butter, whole grain bread, or consider some oatmeal with banana or other fruit.

9. Run day ready!
Make sure that you read the website to know all of the key details about the run. Arrive early on run day to give yourself time to get organized and ready. If you’re late and flustered, you will be stressed before the run even begins.

10. Stay positive and have fun!  
Whether you are a fierce competitor or a first time participant, running is an amazing activity for all levels of participation.  Solo or socializing, the important thing is to have fun. Remember – you are part of an amazing event and you are helping to raise money for children affected by childhood cancer!

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How to Dress for an Urban Rainy Day

Fashionable and fun rain gear is the silver lining to a lousy-weather day. If you are running errands or strolling outdoors, don’t let wet weather ruin your plans. Stay dry and protected with our best selection of rainwear and accessories available in a wide range of styles and colours. It is important to be prepared for unpredictable city weather and surprise downpours when you are busy and on the go. Stay dry out there!

Barbour Cloud Jacket_ LWB417ST11 _ Mist. Barbour Essential Short_ LTR0227WH11- White. Barbour Bede Welly_ LRF0043NY71 _ Navy. Umbrella Barbour Rain

Rain never looked so good. The key to dressing for a day in the rain relies on essential items. Start with a waterproof or water repellent raincoat in a bright colour…don’t forget about rain boots and an umbrella! These essentials will keep you dry in a pinch. Go about your day in style and shop our top rainwear picks for everyone in the family! A great rain outfit will definitely brighten your day.




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How to Dress for an Active Rainy Day

Don’t let rain and fog stop you from exploring this spring! Conquer an active rainy day on the hills, trails and parks with our best variety of rain jackets, footwear and accessories. Our breathable and waterproof styles are made with durable and dependable fabrics like Gore-tex® and Dyneema®. Learn how to dress for a day outdoors with essentials that will keep you feeling dry and warm on your adventure!

Photo by Chris Burkard

The key to dressing for an active rainy day lies in a few essential items: a dependable waterproof jacket with a hood, a fleece hoody to keep you warm, waterproof footwear and a great backpack to hold everything you need on the go. Shop our picks for everyone in your family!





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New & Exciting 2017 Bikes

Bike Blog Hero

This past weekend’s warm weather had us – along with cyclists everywhere – itching to get back out on our bikes. Whether your ride is on the roads, the trails, the mountains, or everywhere in between, spring cycling is just around the corner!

We are proud to carry some of the best bikes around, and we checked in with the expert staff at our Bikes & Boards store to learn about the coolest bikes for spring 2017. Keep reading to learn about some of the latest & greatest bike technology this season. Browse bikes online, and stop by one of our retail stores to purchase your very own bike! We offer a variety of services (learn more) from basic tune-ups to Body Geometry Fit. We want you to feel secure on your bike as you hit the road for the season.

Adult Bikes

In terms of adult bikes, our vendors have kicked it up a notch for both mountain and road bikes. From airless tires to redesigned brake systems and lighter weight frames, our selection of bikes has something for every level of rider. Take a look at some of the highlights available now in our stores.


Cannondale Trail 3 29″ Mountain Bike

  • SmartForm alloy frame
  • 29er speedy
  • 2×10 drive train – less shifting
  • Remote lockout fork
  • SAVE rear triangle for a smooth ride
Giant XTC Advanced 2 29″ Mountain Bike

  • Fully race ready
  • Advanced carbon frame
  • Boost hub spacing is wider, which improves wheel stiffness for better handling
  • Fox suspension 
Cannondale Scalpel-Si Carbon 4 29″ Mountain Bike

  • Made from BallisTec Carbon Technology, this bike is the lightest, stiffest XC available
  • Outfront Geometry – nimble handling at slower speeds, ultra stable descending
  • Lefty fork – the best XC fork…period
Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 11.57.21 AM
Specialized Turbo Levo FSR

  • Ride longer, ride stronger
  • Custom-tuned motor smoothly and quietly puts out up to 530 watts of additional power to the pedals to make climbing nearly effortless, and the output is fully adjustable to conserve energy
  • Battery has a lengthy lifespan for hitting long, out of the way trails and, along with the motor, is strategically placed for optimal weight distribution
  • Legendary Specialized handling and performance
Giant Contend SL 1 Road Bike

  • Conduct disc brake technology converts from mechanical to hydraulic at the handlebars, which offers the stopping power of full hydraulic brakes without the price.
  • D-Fuse composite seatpost dampens vibration for better ride quality
  • Precise handling & pedaling efficiency
  • 11 speed Shimano 105 

Specialized Roubaix Elite Road Bike

  • The legendary Roubaix just became more so
  • Brand new Future shock suspension suspends the rider
  • Ride longer, ride fresher
  • Disc brakes for consistency and greater control
Specialized Alibi Sport Fitness Bike

  • No air needed. What? All tires need air! Not with the new Alibi Sport from Specialized. This solid rubber tire is airless and will never need to be refilled; perfect for the rider who just wants to get back on the road with minimal service after a long winter
  • Rust/corrosion resistant chain
  • Engineered with Fitness Geometry
Junior Bikes

Junior bikes are stepping up their game this year. With fat-tire bikes from Specialized and super cool graphics from Louis Garneau, kids will be riding in style all summer long.

One of the best perks of purchasing a junior bike from Sporting Life? Our Junior Half Back Program! Much like our ski & snowboard deal, we want your kids to have a bike that grows along with them. Simply buy a new kids bike and let your child enjoy it for one year. At the end of the season, bring your child’s bike back to Sporting Life and get an in-store credit for half the purchase price!

At Sporting Life, we offer your kids the same great bike brands that we have for adults: Giant, Liv, Specialized, Louis Garneau, and Cannondale. These bikes are not only top quality, but are professionally assembled to keep your kids safe.

Specialized Riprock 24″ Mountain Bike

  • Fat tire bike for kids!
  • 24×2.8″ tires deliver tons of traction, comfort, stability, and fun over all types of terrain
  • Premium A1 aluminum frame – lightweight and built to withstand the tough use by kids
  • Ultra-low standover makes it easy for little ones to fit and grow with the bike

Louis Garneau F-16 16″ Bike  (available in boys’ & girls’)

  • Awesome new graphics for kids!
  • Larger pedal platform provides confidence while pedaling
  • Minimum seat height was also lowered to provide secure footing on the ground
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Rain Ready Essentials for April Showers

Early spring weather can be unpredictable, but you can still master your style when the forecast isn’t in your favour. Prepare for damp and soggy days ahead with our favourite rainwear essentials that are as functional as they are practical. We have pieces that will fit all your needs and a wide variety of styles for everyone in the family! Sporting Life is your one stop shop for all things rain.


Coats and Jackets

The rain won’t dampen your spirits with our large selection of waterproof and windproof raincoats and jackets. We have options for every budget, activity and lifestyle. Depending on the type of rainfall you will endure, there are a variety of different lengths and fabrics available to suit your needs. It is important to understand the levels of water protection: Waterproof fabric repels non-stop precipitation and protects you in a downpour, while water-resistant and water-repellent fabrics will protect you from light rain and drizzles.

Best Value
These budget-friendly jackets from K-Way are lightweight, packable and come in a variety of colours suited for everyone in your family. Layer them over your favourite sweater to keep dry and comfortable during a downpour!

Active All-Weather Use
For an active day in the rain, you need a practical jacket that you can depend on. These styles from Arc’teryx, Black Yak and The North Face can be worn around town for urban adventure as well as on a hike or run on a damp day. These waterproof, lightweight and packable styles are perfect for on the go convenience.

The packable Torrentshell jacket from Patagonia is the perfect rain jacket for the eco-conscious shopper. Patagonia is a bluesign approved brand committed to the conservation of the environment. The design features a waterproof and breathable shell and an adjustable hood. Get one for every member of your family and enjoy a day of hiking – even when the clouds unleash some rain!

Fashion Friendly
Give your rainy day outfit a fashionable boost with styles like ponchos, trench coats, a-line cuts and details like large military pockets and vibrant colours. These chic styles will be the silver-lining to any gloomy rainy day ahead. Our fashion forward picks will get you excited for April showers!


The umbrella may be the most important rain essential. They are equally cute, compact and functional and are key to keeping you dry in a pinch. Undoubtedly an umbrella will keep you dry, so it is important to have multiple at your disposal: one for your car, one to keep at work and one at home will ensure that you are prepared for those surprise rainfalls. With all the fun prints and colours available, you can also coordinate your umbrella to your spring outfits!

Rain Boots and Waterproof Footwear

Step outside in confidence during a downpour and splash around in any puddles with waterproof footwear and rain boots. Your footwear preference in the rain can depend on the activity or style you are going for. Rain boots come in bright colours and prints that are sure to brighten your rainy day and match all your outfits. For a fun vibe, feel free to mix and match your outfit from head to toe!

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The Bluesign System

With Earth Day approaching and a general heightened focus on the environment, brands are revealing a strong commitment to ecological sustainability for their spring and summer collections. One such initiative can be found in the form of the bluesign system.

What is the bluesign system?

The bluesign system is the solution for sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets & controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production.

Bluesign partners employ “methods and materials in their manufacture that conserve resources and minimize impacts on people and the environment.” This system serves as an efficient solution for chemical suppliers, textile and accessories manufacturers as well as fashion brands.

Bluesign is old news for one of our favourite brands: Patagonia. The brand committed to the bluesign system in 2007, and was the first brand to officially join the network. 10 years later, many of Patagonia’s products are bluesign approved, and their commitment to environmental conservation is one of many reasons why we love the brand. Many other companies are following suit and growing their line of bluesign approved apparel.

bluesign patagonia vestbluesign patagonia fleece

There are 5 principles behind bluesign’s implementation of sustainable processes:

  1. Resource Productivity
    • During the complete process of textile production, companies use as few resources as possible. This means cost efficiency, as well as optimized process efficiency by minimizing both energy and material output. There are plenty of challenges that come with textile production, so bluesign sets ecological and economical priorities in place in order to meet those challenges.
  2. Consumer Safety
    • The bluesign system meets the highest requirements to provide consumers both ecologically high-quality textiles as well as a clear conscience. Bluesign promises not only high-quality textile products without health risks, but also compliance that sustainability is implemented in each and every step of the production process. The goal is for the lowest possible impact on both human health and the environment.
  3. Water Emission
    • Bluesign aims for the reduction of water pollution in its processes. This is done by eliminating harmful chemicals and fostering the use of state-of-the-art waste water treatment systems at its partners factories. The bluesign system looks to return purified water into the water cycle and to minimize impact on the aquatic environment. There are specific requirements regarding water pollution control and bluesign minimizes the amount of harmful substances in wastewater.
  4. Air Emission
    • Active climate protection includes the use of low-emission components as well as optimizing energy consumption and monitoring emission limits for the whole process chain. The textile production process causes air emission at every step: the effects of deployed raw fabrics, chemicals or other resources. The bluesign system targets this from the beginning of the process and aims to reduce CO2 emissions.
  5. Occupational Health & Safety
    • The bluesign system employs strict guidelines regarding the use of more sustainable chemical products along the supply chain. This in turn has positive impacts on the working conditions of bluesign system partners. For example, bluesign requires obligatory training programs concerning storage and handling of harmful substances and protection against environmental pollution in its partner facilities (i.e. dust and noise).

As we at Sporting Life continue our journey towards environmental sustainability, we are proud that a number of the brands we sell are official bluesign partners!

Shop bluesign Partners Available at Sporting Life
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Spring’s Biggest Trend: Bomber Jackets 101

Everything you need to know about this timeless style!

Bomber jackets have a long history originating from the mid 20th Century until now and their increasing popularity among today’s fashion forward trendsetters mean that the versatile style is here to stay.

via River Island
via River Island


Originally worn by military pilots during World War II, bombers were made for wear in a cramped cockpit to keep pilots warm and comfortable during combat.


After the Korean War, bomber jackets integrated into civilian style. Famously, Police departments added the Bomber jacket to their uniform and this style wasn’t just for pilots anymore.

via River Island
via River Island
via Complex
via Complex

1960s to 1980s

During this time, Punks and Skinheads would pair their skinny jeans and Doc Martens shoes with a bomber jacket. The bomber was used more as outerwear than a uniform staple during this time.


Bombers gained popularity during the 80s when famous actors in Hollywood films wore the style.

via Complex
via Complex

2000s – Runway to Real-way!

Bombers surged in popularity again in the fashion world and now styles are accessible to everyone. Bombers in the modern age are either fairly close to the original classic or tailored to modern tastes with unconventional fabrics and embellishments.

via Laia Magazine
via Laia Magazine
Copyright © 2013 infinitas. Article Photo for Denim Jeans Observer All brands, product names, corresponding products, supplementary materials, graphic or photographic images, licenses, registered trademarks, trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.
via Denim Jeans Observer


With a wide range of bomber styles emerging in recent years, what makes a bomber a bomber?

  1. High Collar
  2. Left Arm Zip Pocket
  3. Ribbed Cuffs
  4. Snug Waist
  5. 2 Front Pockets

Over the years, main components of the bomber jacket such as snug cuffs and waist, wraparound collar, pockets and short silhouette have remained the same. However, over time we have moved away from the traditional style with the addition of lightweight fabrics, embroidery, embellishments and longer hemlines. Nowadays bomber jackets come in a variety of lengths, fashion colours and fabrics. From outerwear to sportswear, you can find qualities of the classic bomber jacket in many new modern styles today. Today’s modern bomber is a double duty classic acting as a fashionable and practical piece for your wardrobe. You can find styles that will keep you warm and dry with the introduction of water repellent and wind resistant fabrics.


The bomber style is flattering and goes with a wide variety of outfits for many occasions. There will never be one way to wear your bomber. Unleash your rebellious spirit and pair a Bomber jacket with your next outfit!

Casual Cool Weekend – Women’s
Soia & Kyo Blayke Bomber Jacket
Casual Cool Weekend – Men’s

Canada Goose Men's Faber Bomber Jacket

Night Out – Women’s

Moose Knuckles Women's Caldwell Varsity Parka

Sporty – Men’s
Nike Men's Sportswear Advance 15 Jacket
Sporty – Women’s
stellasport Women's Training Bomber Jacket
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How to Style Barbour for Spring

Since 1894, Barbour has produced stylish, durable, heritage outerwear that stays true to its roots in the British countryside. While the company has evolved over time (learn more here) their designs remain a British staple and have found success across the pond in North America. This spring, Barbour has come through once again with fashion forward styles that will keep you looking fresh when the rain falls and the wind blows.

After scrolling through Pinterest, we found some great Barbour outfit inspo for spring. Keep reading to learn how we would style three of our favourite Barbour silhouettes; with these key styles, you can’t go wrong with your outerwear this season!

The Yellow Rain Coat

via The Golden Girl Blog

Who doesn’t love a yellow rain jacket? This spring’s new Katabatic Jacket blends the looks of two Barbour icons – the Durham and the Beadnell – to create a longer-length women’s waterproof jacket with unbeatable functionality and unquestionable style. It features a detachable hood, a snap button storm placket and an adjustable drawstring waist!

Add a nautical striped top, ripped denim, chic sunnies and a fresh white sneaker, and you’ll be ready for all of the weather changes coming at you this season.

The Wax Jacket

Did you see our post on the history of the wax jacket last fall? This Barbour classic has stood the test of time and will have no problem handling finicky spring weather. The Beadnell for women and the Beaufort for men are suitable for all climates and their relaxed fit will look good whilst being active outdoors. It is also able to accommodate both zip in liner and hood, which is perfect for spring layering.

We love the idea of mixing hard and soft – a structured wax jacket with sturdy rain boots are picture perfect with a flowy spring dress. For men, use your wax jacket to dress up a simple t-shirt, jeans and sneakers!

The Quilted Jacket

tumblr_of76xdc9Zp1rsyc02o1_1280 via Barbour People

If anyone knows how to make a quilted jacket, it’s Barbour. A brand new addition this spring is the Holton Bomber – considering how much we love bomber jackets this season, this new style is very exciting. The Holton channels classic bomber styling with a shorter length, a stand collar and ribs to the hem and cuff. Barbour’s iconic Dress Tartan trims the lining.

We’re feeling so inspired by photos of stylish men rocking their quilted jackets. This spring, try the Holton Bomber with a classic polo, lighter wash jeans and a fashletic sneaker for a sporty yet preppy look.

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