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25 Amazing Running Routes Around The World

25 Amazing Running Routes Around The World

Training for and and successfully completing a marathon is a big deal. For many, the monotonous training is a bore to say the least. But for the crazy bunch such as myself, it is a hobby that brings much excitement and necessary self-discipline.

I’ve run more than 20 marathons, including three Comrades Marathons over the past six years. I’ve become a seasoned athlete who runs all-year round. For me though, running the same races year in and year out has the potential to become a massive bore.

Perhaps you fall into the same “I am bored of the same races” category. Maybe you are a novice who’s looking to participate in his or her first marathon. Or maybe, you are a part-time marathon athlete who loves travelling.

Whatever your circumstances, I’ve put together a list of 25 amazing routes in 17 countries, four continents and the Caribbeans. These are routes that have epic views, incredibly supportive fans and a great sense of culture that will appeal to any runner or avid traveller.

I’ve run a few of these races myself and I hope to complete all of the races below by the time I put up my running gear (which won’t be anytime soon!). And hopefully, this list inspires you to lace up, train and travel more.

1. Soweto Marathon, Soweto, South Africa

Running in the southwestern Townships (Soweto) of Johannesburg, the marathon takes you through the rich culture of South Africa.

The race starts in Nasrec and takes you through six significant landmarks:

– Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (the third largest hospital in the world)

– Walter Sisulu Square

– Regina Mundi Catholic Church (the largest Roman Catholic Church in South Africa)

– Morris Isaacson High School

– Vilakazi Street (the only street in the world to have housed two Noble Peace Prize Winners in Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu)

amazing running routes

    Hector Pieterson Memorial (memorial and museum that commemorates the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid) is also a featured landmark on the trail. The route eventually takes you back to Nasrec, where you will pass the 90,000 person capacity FNB Stadium, also known as Soccer City, where the 2010 World Cup was played.

    amazing running routes

      www.sowetomarathon.com

      2. Great Wall Of China Marathon, Tianjin, China

      Considered one of the toughest marathons in the world, the route starts near the village of Huangyaguan, northeast of Beijing. It proceeds to the Great Wall, the world’s longest wall and biggest ancient architecture, where you will go up and down 5,164 steps.

      China_GreatWallMarathon2013_062

        Here, you can expect to see a stunning array of scenery:

        – The beaches of Qinhuangdao, rugged mountains around Beijing

        – The desert corridor between the tall mountain ranges at Jiayu Pas

        From there, you proceed through scenic villages and rice fields before looping back to the Wall again for the final portion of the race, when you’ll finish in the center of Yin and Yang Square.

        amazing running routes

          www.great-wall-marathon.com

          3. TCS New York City Marathon, New York, USA

          With more than 50,000 finishers, 10,000 volunteers and one million spectators in 2014, the New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the United States. Dubbed “the most prestigious endurance event in the world”, the course takes you through the five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.

          5 boroughs

            Considered one of the toughest courses of the major marathons in America, it has deceptive hills that force you to pace yourself adequately as you make your way past these historic landmarks and millions of screaming supporters that are guaranteed to give you an adrenaline rush.

            Amazing running routes

              www.tcsnycmarathon.org

              4. Virgin Money London Marathon, London, England

              One of the World Marathon Majors Series that awards a $1 million prize to the top male and female marathoners in the top six world races, it attracts nearly 40,000 athletes every year.

              This marathon is a flat, fast race that starts in Blackheath in southeast London and passes the most iconic landmarks of England – Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Eye – and runs along the River Thames and across the Tower Bridge.

              amazing running routes

                The event crosses the finish line in front of Buckhngham Palace.

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                London Marathon map

                  www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com

                  5. Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris, France

                  In 2013, Paris received approximately 29.3 million visitors, making it one of the top tourist destinations. What better way to tour the place as an athlete?

                  The marathon is one of the largest in the world, with approximately 140 nationalities and 50,000 athletes having participated in 2013. The course itself offers spectacular views and landmarks all along the route.

                  Starting off on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the course runs alongside the banks of Seine and past some of the city’s greatest sites (famous Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Place la Bastille).

                  amazing running routes

                    Runners then run a loop around the Bois de Vincennes and return to the heart of the city and Rue de Charenton, the halfway point. The inward stretch follows the course of the Seine, passing Ile de la Cite and going under the Pont Neuf, and through a series of tunnels.

                    For those in need, there is a large drink station and foot massage area at Trocadero, facing the Eiffel Tower. The route then continues along the Seine, before branching east towards Bois de Boulogne, finally emerging for the final 200 metres and the finish line on the Avenue Foch.

                    www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com

                    6. Reggae Run, Negril, Jamaica

                    Home to some of the greatest athletes, like the world’s fastest runner, Usain Bolt, The Amazing Reggae Marathon is Jamaica’s premier International Marathon Event.

                    The race starts at Long Bay Beach Park, situated along Negril’s lively 7-mile white sand beach. It proceeds and loops into the town of Negril and then heads north toward the town of Green Island.

                    amazing running routes

                      Lined with enthusiastic spectators and pulsating Reggae music on course, you are guaranteed to have an “irie” race. The Finish Line Beach Bash affords everyone an opportunity to relax on the beach with special offerings and entertainment geared toward having a total blast.

                      amazing running routes

                        www.reggaemarathon.com

                        7. Honolulu Marathon, Honolulu, Hawaii

                        Hosted in December, the Honolulu Marathon is one of the largest in the United States and attracts more than 25,000 athletes annually.

                        The race starts in Ala Maona Beach Park and passes through several famous Hawaiian landmarks, such as Lolani Palace, the only royal palace in the U.S.

                        amazing running routes

                          The route also makes its way past the statue of surfing hero Duke Kahanamoku on surfing heaven Waikiki Beach and Kawaiahao Church and Diamond Head. The run comes to an end in Kapiolani Park, the state’s first public park.

                          On race day, this park is transformed to a joyful festival with approximately 50,000 spectators. Being a part of this is a definite must for any athlete.

                          amazing running routes

                            www.honolulumarathon.org

                            8. Two Oceans Marathon, Cape Town, South Africa

                            It was established in 1970, and attracts the cream of local and international athletes alike. Affectionately known as “The world’s most beautiful marathon”, the 56-km ultra-marathon takes you through a backdrop of scenery that paces you around the Cape Peninsula via Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay and Constantia Nek.

                            Below is a picture of myself making my way up Chapman’s Peak:

                            amazing running route

                              These views, in addition to the tough course, will leave you breathless.

                              amazing running routes

                                www.twooceansmarathon.org.za

                                9. Marathon International de Marrakech, Morocco

                                This race is run in Marrakesh, a magical town that offers an exceptional setting, a very mild climate in January and a beautiful circuit considered to be one of the fastest in the world.

                                marrakech

                                  The route takes you through the city’s 12th-century ramparts, Menara gardens on dusty roads lined with palms. And the imposing Atlas Mountains provide an astonishing backdrop to the pink-walled city.

                                  Semi-Marathon-International-De-Marrakech-map

                                    www.marathon-marrakech.com

                                    10. Boston Marathon, Boston, Massachusets

                                    With the first marathon dating back as far as 1897, the Boston Marathon is the oldest and most prestigious race in the United States.

                                    With rigorous qualifying standards, it is a dream marathon for many athletes. It is run on Partiots Day and starts in Hopkins. Nearby is a statue of George V. Brown, starter of the marathon between 1905 and 1937, with his starter’s pistol aloft.

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                                    At the one-mile mark at Weston Nurseries on Route 135 is a statue honoring Stylianos Kyriakides, whose victory in the 1946 race brought worldwide attention and badly need relief supplies to his war-torn homeland of Grace.

                                    amazing running routes

                                      The race continues east on Route 16 into the Newton Lower Falls and emerges at the firehouse onto Commonwealth Avenue. Here, you will find a bronze statue at the start of the Newton hills, depicting a 27-year-old Kelley winning the 1935 race and an 84-year-old Kelley completing his final marathon in 1992.

                                      The race eventually finishes in Copley Square near the Boston Public Library.

                                      amazing running routes

                                        www.baa.org

                                        11. Athens Classic Marathon, Athens, Greece

                                        The Athens Classic Marathon is one of the biggest sporting events in Greece. And if history is anything to go by, it is probably the first marathon to be run in the world. In 490 B.C., a giant Persian army invaded the small town of Marathon, near the coast of Greece.

                                        However, the Greek defeated the Persians. Following that, a messenger named Pheidippides was sent to Athens to bring news of the victory. The young Greek ran 26.2 miles from battlefield to the capital to announce the victory.

                                        Approximately three miles into the run, you will come across the “Tomb of Marathon Warriors.” This is a 10 mile high burial mound where 192 men who died in battle were collectively cremated and buried as a sign of honour.

                                        amazing running routes

                                          The first 12 kilometers are level, with gentle long hills in the middle 19 kilometers. The final 11 kilometers are a downhill run that takes you into the magnificent Olympic Stadium in Athens.

                                          amazing running routes

                                            www.athensmarathon.com

                                            12. Dublin Marathon, Dublin, Ireland

                                            Dubbed the “friendly marathon,” the Dublin Marathon is run through the capital’s historic Georgian streets and its magnificent park. The race is single lap that is largely flat and starts and finishes close to the City Centre, in Fitzwilliam Square and Merrion Square, respectively.

                                            Two, well-known landmarks on the route are the City Hall and Dublin Castle.

                                            amazing running routes

                                              Dublin, which has more green spaces per square kilometer than any other area in Europe, sees the marathon make its way past St. Stephen’s Green, Brickfields Park, Phoenix Park, Bushy Park and Elm Park Golf Course.

                                              With ideal running conditions and a fantastic crowd in support, this race is indeed a friendly one.

                                              dublin_route_map

                                                13. Comrades Marathon, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

                                                With its inception in 1921, the Comrades Marathon is the world’s oldest ultra-marathon and attracts nearly 20,000 athletes yearly.

                                                Commonly known as “The Ultimate Human Race”, it is a 56-mile grueling run that consists of an “Up” and “Down” route. Known for more its spirit and tradition, than it is the scenery, it always starts with blaring music in the background and the “Chariots of Fire” theme minutes before the race begins at 5:30 am.

                                                Ultimately, the recorded cockcrow of Max Trimborn signals the grueling but incredibly worthwhile ultra-marathon for any long distance runner.

                                                On the “Up” run you pass two villages, Camperdown and Cato Ridge, which are often packed with large crowds of spectators lining both sides of the road.

                                                In addition, you pass the “Wall of Honour”, situated at the half-way point in Drummond. It overlooks the Valley of 1,000 Hills and was created to serve as a permanent landmark to commemorate the achievement of Comrades runners who have completed the epic “Up” run.

                                                amazing running routes

                                                  The “Up” run is slightly shorter and starts in Durban and finishes in Pietermaritzburg. The “Down” run starts in Pietermaritzburg and finishes in Durban.

                                                  The Comrades Marathon is a must run race for every long distance athlete.

                                                  amazing running routes

                                                    www.comrades.com

                                                    14. Puerto Rico Marathon, Puerto Rico

                                                    The Puerto Rico Marathon is a popular destination race, combining a Caribbean vacation with first-class competition. The scenic route takes you along the Atlantic Ocean and past the San Geronimo Fort & Museum and the University of Puerto Rico.

                                                    amazing running routes

                                                      Run under tropical conditions, albeit humid and hot, and filled with spectators that cheer you on in Spanish and English, you can’t help but admire this wonderful race.

                                                      amazing running routes

                                                        www.marathonpuertorico.com

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                                                        15. Marathon de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel, France

                                                        Approximately 5,000 athletes, representing approximately 30 nationalities, participate in this event annually.

                                                        It is the only race in France where one can see the finish (the Mount) from the start. It starts with a run along the seafront of the Bay going through (among other interesting spots) Le Vivier-sur-Mer in Brittany and Cherrueix, which is famous for its sand-yachting races.

                                                        amazing running routes

                                                          It then crosses a polder area and makes its way to the towering fortified village of Normandy’s Mont Saint-Michel.

                                                          amazing running routes

                                                            www.montsaintmichel-marathon.com

                                                            16. Sparkasse 3-Laender Marathon, Germany; Austria; Switzerland

                                                            When we talk unique, the running route of this marathon amazes many. Run in three countries, the marathon starts from the beautiful Island of Lindau in Germany.

                                                            Start_Lindau (1)

                                                              You then run along Lake Constance for about 60% of the race. Here, you pass the iconic 7,000-seater Seebuhne (of floating stage), running through the Austrian towns of Lochau, Bregenz, Hard and Höchst.

                                                              The race continues over the Swiss border at St. Margreten and continues across the Rheindamm back to Hard and finally finishes in the Casino-Stadium in Bregenz, Switzerland, where a cheering crowd awaits you.

                                                              With mountain views are on either side as you run over rivers, bridges, and alternating asphalt and cobblestone streets, it is a spectacular race to participate in.

                                                              3 in one route map

                                                                www.sparkasse-3-laender-marathon.at/en

                                                                17. The Big Five Marathon, Entabeni Game Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa

                                                                For those love wild life, this is a popular event that attracts athletes from all over the world.

                                                                Running through the enormous and magnificent surroundings of the Entabeni Game Reserve, it combines exciting game drives with a challenging marathon route that goes through the most famous African Big Five game – elephants, rhinos, buffalo, lions and leopards.

                                                                amazing running routes

                                                                  Running with no fences and rivers and passing through a section known as ‘lion country’, this event is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

                                                                  amazing running routes

                                                                    www.big-five-marathon.com

                                                                    18. Chicago Marathon, Chicago, Illinois

                                                                    The Bank Of America Chicago Marathon is huge event that attracts in excess of 40,000 athletes from more than 50 states and countries.

                                                                    Supported by more than 1.5 million spectators, runners start and finish in Grant Park, located just south of the New Eastside neighborhood, which features a unique three-level roadway system and is home to several residential and commercial high rises, such as the Aon Center and Prudential Building

                                                                    Runners also pass through Streeterville, an energetic neighborhood that blends together luxury hotels, fabulous shopping, arts and fine dining. It is in this neighborhood that you see the shopper’s paradise, the Magnificent Mile – eight blocks of more than 460 shops and boutiques.

                                                                    amazing running routes

                                                                      The course takes you through magnificent cities and you make you past 29 Chicago neighborhoods. The race also makes its way through Near West, a neighborhood that houses the United Center, home stadium of the Chicago Bulls and the Blackhawks.

                                                                      Along the route you will also experience an abundance of Greek, Italian and Chinese culture as the race makes its way through the neighborhoods of Greektown, Little Italy, Pilsen and Chinatown. And the dancing doesn’t stop in Pilsen, Chicago’s largest Latino community.

                                                                      Over the 26.2 miles, the course weaves through these incredibly dynamic, individual neighborhoods into the tale of one city, making this an incredible experience that showcases the importance of community and a united spirit.

                                                                      amazing running routes

                                                                        www.chicagomarathon.com

                                                                        19. Big Sur International Marathon, California, USA

                                                                        The Big Sur International Marathon is an annual marathon held in California.  The marathon was established in 1986 and attracts about 4,500 participants annually. Featuring rolling hills, Big Sur is the largest rural marathon in the world, winding through redwoods, paralleling ranches, and offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

                                                                        At the halfway point, the route makes its way past the Bixby Creek Bridge, California’s favorite coastal bridge.

                                                                        amazing running routes

                                                                          With live entertainment throughout the race, it’s a lovely event to participate in.

                                                                          amazing running routes

                                                                            www.bsim.org

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                                                                            20. Bagan Temple Marathon, Burma

                                                                            Tucked away in central Myanmar and home to more than 2,000 temples, Bagan’s beauty and historical significance is unsurpassed. Sacred pagodas and beautiful temples are scattered across the plains of Bagan, creating a mystical, striking landscape.

                                                                            The marathon course will take runners on a voyage of discovery into this alluring and untouched land.

                                                                            amazing running routes

                                                                              The heat and dusty course is a challenge for most runners participating the Bagan Temple Marathon. However, the beautiful temples, the friendly villagers, the other-worldly atmosphere make this marathon one of a kind

                                                                              amazing running routes

                                                                                www.bagan-temple-marathon.com

                                                                                21. BMW Berlin Marathon, Berlin, Germany

                                                                                With the first run in 1974 attracting 286 runners, this marathon has grown in leaps and bounds and now sees approximately 40,000 runners participate.

                                                                                With more than a million spectators, the course starts and finishes next to one of the capital’s most famous landmarks – the Brandenburg Gate. The route also takes you via notable spots such as the Reichstag and Berliner Dom.

                                                                                amazing running routes

                                                                                  With skaters cheering you on as you pace yourself through classic buildings of the east and hi-tech shops and modern properties of the west, this race is indeed a unique one.

                                                                                  amazing marathon routes

                                                                                    www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com

                                                                                    22. Swiss Alpine races, Switzerland

                                                                                    This event has a heritage of three decades. In recent times, the diversity of runners and routes amid Graubenden’s amazing alpine scenery makes the Swiss Alpine Marathon more than just a race.

                                                                                    amazing running routes

                                                                                      The event has also evolved into a family experience, involving very young participants and organizing a team relay. It’s a must for any family of athletes.

                                                                                      amazing running rout

                                                                                        www.swissalpine.ch

                                                                                        23. Marathon du Medoc, Bordeaux, France

                                                                                        The Marathon du Medoc provides an out of the ordinary experience for its participants. With a limit of 8,500 participants, it takes you through a stunningly beautiful circuit of more than 50 chateuax.

                                                                                        amazing running routes

                                                                                          With more than 52 other events alongside the race, 22 refreshments stands and 21 food stands and special gourmet stands, the event provides a feast second to none. Plus, as you make your way through the festivities – with the occasional sip of wine – you are cheered by 3,000 volunteers and approximately 10, 000 spectators.

                                                                                          amazing running routes

                                                                                            www.marathondumedoc.com

                                                                                            24. GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, Victoria, BC, Canada

                                                                                            With the limit of participants set at 4,000, this marathon is a flat route that showcases Canada’s natural beauty.

                                                                                            Run along the southern tip of the island, with the Olympic Mountain range visible in the distance, the course takes runners past landmarks such as the BC legislative buildings, Ogden Point, Beacon Hill Park and the statue of Terry Fox at Mile ‘O’.

                                                                                            amazing running routes

                                                                                              www.runvictoriamarathon.com

                                                                                              25. Marathon of the Midnight Sun, Tromso, Norway

                                                                                              Whoever said running marathons is boring?

                                                                                              Run at the height of summer in the Norwegian town of Tromso in the Arctic Circle, and in the middle of the night with the sun sitting above the horizon, illuminating the road ahead.

                                                                                              The start and finish lines are in the city centre. Runners head off towards the Tromsø Bridge, two km in to the race which arcs uphill from 6 to 43 meters above sea level. At the 20 km point runners cross back over the bridge, returning to and passing through the city centre.

                                                                                              midnight-sun-maraton-tromso-norway

                                                                                                The second half of the course is quite flat and easy. The course loops round and brings runners back to the city centre again, this time to the finish line and cheering crowds.

                                                                                                amazing running routes

                                                                                                  www.msm.no

                                                                                                  Whoever could have thought that running at midnight, with sun shining brightly, was possible? Whoever could have thought that the pain and monotony of marathon running could be this fun? I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. More importantyly, I hope it encourages you to strive to live a healthy, adventurous and exciting lifestyle.

                                                                                                   

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                                                                                                  Peteni Kuzwayo

                                                                                                  Peteni is the founder of Run For Wealth. He shares about entrepreneurship and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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                                                                                                  Last Updated on January 26, 2021

                                                                                                  Science Says A Glass Of Red Wine Can Replace 1 Hour Exercising

                                                                                                  Science Says A Glass Of Red Wine Can Replace 1 Hour Exercising

                                                                                                  Are you a red wine drinker? What if I tell you sipping in a glass of wine can equate to an hour of exercise? Yup, it’s tried and tested. A new scientific study has just confirmed this wonderful news. So next time you hold a glass of Merlot, you can brag about one hour of hard workout. Rejoice, drinkers!

                                                                                                  What the study found out

                                                                                                  “I think resveratrol could help patient populations who want to exercise but are physically incapable. Resveratrol could mimic exercise for the more improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do.”

                                                                                                  (applauds)

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                                                                                                  I’m not saying this, but the study’s principal investigator Jason Dyck who got it published in the Journal of Physiology in May.

                                                                                                  In a statement to ScienceDaily, Dyck pointed out that resveratrol is your magic “natural compound” which lavishes you with the same benefits as you would earn from working out in the gym.

                                                                                                  And where do you find it? Fruits, nuts and of course, red wine!

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                                                                                                  Did I forget to mention Dyck also researched resveratrol can “enhance exercise training and performance”?

                                                                                                  There are limits, of course

                                                                                                  But, all is not gold as they say. If you’re a lady who likes to flaunt holding a glass of white wine in the club or simply a Chardonnay-lover,you have a bad (sad) news. The “one hour workout” formula only works with red wine, not non red wines. And don’t be mistaken and think you’ve managed 4 to 6 hours of workout sessions if you happen to gulp down a bottle of red wine.

                                                                                                  And what can replace the golden lifetime benefits of exercise?Exercise is just as important as you age. Period! But hey, don’t be discouraged; look at the bigger picture here. A glass of red wine is not a bad deal after all!

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                                                                                                  The health benefits of red wine

                                                                                                  But just how beneficial is the red alcoholic beverage to your body? As we all know red wine is a healthier choice youc an make when boozing.

                                                                                                  Let’s hear it from a registered dietitian. Leah Kaufman lists red wine as the “most calorie friendly” alcoholic beverage. Sure, you won’t mind adding up to a mere 100 calories per 5-ounce glass of red wine after you realize it contains antioxidants, lowers risk of heart disease and stroke, reduces risk of diabetes-related diseases, helps avoid formation of blood clots and lowers bad cholesterol level.

                                                                                                  Wantmore? Wine could also replace your mouthwash because the flavan-3-ols in red wines can control the “bad bacteria” in your mouth.To add to that list of benefits, moderate wine drinking may be beneficial for your eyes too – a recent study mentions.

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                                                                                                  Be aware of the risks, too

                                                                                                  Having mentioned all the ‘goods’ about red wine, you cannot underplay the fact that it is still an alcohol, which isn’t the best stuff to pour into your body. What is excessive drinking going to do to your body? Know the risks and you should be a good drinker at the end of the day.

                                                                                                  However, you don’t want to discard the red vino from your “right eating”regimen just because it stains your teeth blue. M-o-d-e-r-a-t-i-o-n. Did you read that? That’s the operative word when it comes to booze.

                                                                                                  By the way, when chocolate is paired with wine, particularly red, they can bring you some exceptional benefits towards your health.But again, if you tend to go overboard and booze down bottles after bottles, you are up for the negative side of alcohol, and we all know what too much of sweetness (sugar) can do to our body (open invitation to diabetes and heart diseases if you aren’t aware).

                                                                                                  Folks, the red grape beverage is certainly a good buy to have a good hour’s worth of cardio, provided you keep the ‘M’ word in mind. Cheers!

                                                                                                  Featured photo credit: James Palinsad via flickr.com

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