Running Report 2019

Running Around the World!

I don’t think there has been a year in my life when I’ve traveled as much as I did in 2019. There was never a dull moment as I zig-zagged my way around the globe a few times and one of the biggest anxieties I faced wasn’t what to pack…it was managing a running routine! While I didn’t always get to log as many miles as I might have liked (due primarily to tightly constrained flight and broadcast schedules), I did make sure to get SOME runs –even short ones– everywhere I journeyed. I was mostly successful..and found surprising pleasure in these abbreviated workouts.

Thanks, as always, for your enthusiastic interest in my running endeavors…and to my coach Baker & trainer Andrew for keeping me motivated and injury free! I tallied a surprising # of miles when I added them all up…more than last year and, in fact, one of my higher on record!

January: Israel had me enjoying runs in Jerusalem* and along the magnificent seaside in Tel Aviv*.
February: Awards season in Hollywood means prime running in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Beverly Hills. I also made it to my hometown in Pennsylvania and beautiful Sydney, Australia.
March: Aboard an Azamara cruise ship to Cairns*, Australia, I wobbled through some high seas-treadmill runs. Back on dry land, I ran in the Hamptons and the Baltimore Harbor area.
April: Back to Los Angeles
June: NYC’s Italy Run 5 miler was run in 47:23 on a beautiful Spring day in Central Park. That was followed up by a marathon of travels & new running experiences including Marina Del Rey, Orlando Florida*, Hudson Yards New York, Tokyo Japan* and Pennsylvania.
July: A month long birthday celebration started up and down the East Coast and led all the way to Hawaii with The Rock! Boston, Provincetown*, East Hampton, Baltimore, spectacular Kauai* and ended up in Beverly Hills.
September: My first trip to Vancouver* Canada kicked off my months of runs that eventually included old favorite locales like Pennsylvania, Los Angeles and Baltimore.
October: A punishing work/travel schedule was offset by exciting runs in Hong Kong, Perth Australia and Noumea* New Caledonia,
November: At sea in the South Pacific* while performing on a P&O Cruise, I managed a treadmill run but fared better in Sydney Australia before heading on to Cabo San Lucas*, Mexico. The seaside views were almost as spectacular as the time I spent with one of my favorite interviewees, Dwayne (“The Rock”) Johnson. Kevin Hart was there, too, and he assured me his recent car accident won’t have a long term impact on his own devotion to running. I finished out the month with a treadmill run in Los Angeles and had the pleasure of meeting music legend Jonny Mathis, who frequents the same gym and is also a “Dawn Patroller” like me…we were both in there at 5am!
December: I finished up this year of running adventures with a trip back to Orlando and many marvelous miles in my hometown, NYC. A post Christmas bout of bronchitis prevented me from squeezing a last minute burst of miles, but that will just mean a bigger kick off to 2020!

Whew! I’m exhausted just recounting all of that!
*Denotes first time running locales

MILES LOGGED

2019 – 1167.4 (1878.74 km)
2018 – 1132 (1821.77 km)
2017 – 1160 (1866.83 km)
2016 – 1212.5 (1951.32 km)
2015 – 1092.8 (1758.69 km)
2014 – 1169.5 (1882.12 km)
2013 – 1323.6 (2130.1 km)
2012 – 1175.2 (1891.30 km)
2011 – 1200 (1931.21 km)
2010 – 1105.6 (1779.29 km)
2009 – 1070.1 (1722.16 km)
2008 – 1152 (1853.96 km)
2007 – 1300 (2091.7 km)
2006 – 1064 (1712.34 km)
2005 – 1143 (1839.08 km)
2004 – 944.9 (1520.34 km)
2003 – 834.2 (1342.22 km)

 

Hooray for Hollywood, 2020!

First Show of 2020!

2020 not only ushers in a new decade (depending on your mathematical interpretation of the calendar), but my 17th Anniversary with Australia’s #1 morning show, SUNRISE. That’s pretty remarkable, especially in TV time…and I appreciate it so very much. I’m inspired by folks like Susan Lucci. Ryan Seacrest, Jane Pauley and Regis Philbin who can claim that long of a tube tenure! To celebrate another Awards season of reporting from all the major Hollywood Red Carpets (SAGs, Grammys, Oscars…), I am proudly bringing my interactive cabaret offering “A SHOWBIZ SCRAPBOOK” to LA’s popular music venue, Rockwell…for one night only: Thursday January 30th at 8pm.

I will be joined by one of my favorite familiar faces from TV: gorgeous & talented Carolyn Hennesy. It will be HER Rockwell debut, too, and seats are already selling fast, so if you’ll be in the Los Angeles area, please make sure to secure yours now and join us for this musical party I’ve recently had the privilege of playing to sold out crowds in NYC and aboard Australia’s P&O Cruise line.
https://www.showclix.com/event/nelson-aspen-a-showbiz-scrapbook

Along with my musical director, Mitchell Kaplan, I’ll share songs & stories from my quarter century in breakfast television along with clips of some particularly memorable moments. Heath Ledger, Betty White, Princess Diana, Hugh Jackman and many other notables from the world of Entertainment are all a part of the adventure.

I hope to see you then/there and that 2020 bring us all a year of peace, good health and happiness.

My “Showbiz Scrapbook” opens in NYC, October 4th!

As you probably know, I’ve been an Entertainment Reporter for news outlets around the world for over 25 years.

I’ve interviewed literally Thousands of A-List celebrities…covered breaking stories like the deaths of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Robin Williams and Heath Ledger…worked the Red Carpets of major awards shows like the Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globes, Tonys and Oscars.

Now, I’m doing a live stage show that ties it all together through songs, stories, clips and images of many of those memorable moments. It’s called “A Showbiz Scrapbook” and it premieres October 4th at THE GREEN ROOM 42, Broadway’s Funky New Cabaret Club in the heart of Times Square, NYC.   I’ll also be welcoming my buddy Phil Lipof to the stage.  He’s an Emmy & Murrow Award winning journalist who hosted “Rock Talk” at Feinstein’s 54 Below and happens to be quite a rock star in his own right!

Good seats are still available by visiting http://www.thegreenroom42.com or my website http://www.nelsonaspen.com/music    Join me for A SHOWBIZ SCRAPBOOK…I’ll be your one degree of separation from all things Celebrity. You might even recognize a famous face right there in the audience!

Running Report 2018

Running Report 2018

In spite of the globe trotting I did this year, I managed to keep up with my passionate running routine…even if many of those miles were spent on Hotel treadmills! Not bad if there are views like the ones in South Africa (elephants and oceans!) and Baltimore (the harbor). Even when scenic sites were not available, like in London, I used the time to rehearse my cabaret show, “Just in Time,” which I performed in NYC, Los Angeles and London.  With all the travel I did for both work and recreation, I used running to explore new destinations. In the States, those included Charleston, Atlanta, Honolulu and Memphis (Elvis sighting!). And I always find something new even when running in longtime favorite places in NYC, the Hamptons, Sydney (Australia), Los Angeles and my Pennsylvania hometown.  As usual, my running coach (Baker) and trainer (Andrew) helped  keep me motivated and committed, even on the earliest mornings!

If you’ve been following my running routines, you know I log miles unfettered by gadgets or music.  It’s my time to rehearse new material, brainstorm ideas or, as in the case of my father’s funeral in October, be alone with my thoughts.   I hope whatever fitness pursuits you follow in the new year bring you joy and wellness, inside and out!
We are planning to kick off the New Year with a holiday in Israel, so I look forward to running in Tel Aviv & Jerusalem.  A great way to begin 2019.  Some of my spectacular running locations in 2018 included:
South Africa
Memphis
Riverside Park NYC
Central Park NYC
Hawaii
East Hampton
London
Baltimore
Malibu
Sydney
Charleston
MILES LOGGED
2018 – 1132 (1821.77 km)
2017 – 1160 (1866.83 km)
2016 – 1212.5 (1951.32 km)
2015 – 1092.8 (1758.69 km)
2014 – 1169.5 (1882.12 km)
2013 – 1323.6 (2130.1 km)
2012 – 1175.2 (1891.30 km)
2011 – 1200 (1931.21 km)
2010 – 1105.6 (1779.29 km)
2009 – 1070.1 (1722.16 km)
2008 – 1152 (1853.96 km)
2007 – 1300 (2091.7 km)
2006 – 1064 (1712.34 km)
2005 – 1143 (1839.08 km)
2004 – 944.9 (1520.34 km)
2003 – 834.2 (1342.22 km)
NELSON’S MARATHON TIMES
In addition to dozens of 5ks and 10ks, here are Nelson’s marathon times:
*PERSONAL BESTS!
2007 DC National Marathon: 4:03:46
2006 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:47:47
2011 Ted Corbitt 15k: 1:21:42
2005 Run for the Bay 10k: 45:38
2007 Santa Monica Mountains Trail 9k: 52:14 (1st Place Men 40-44, 9th Overall)
2011 Achilles Hope & Possibility 8k: 41:01
2009 Run for Central Park, 4 miler: 31:22
2006 Achievable Foundation 5k: 21:582014 LA Marathon: 4:42:22
2013 Hamptons Marathon 4:27:55
2011 NYC Marathon 4:21:37
2011 San Francisco Marathon 4:25:37
2010 Hamptons Marathon 4:19:48
2009 Hamptons Marathon 4:24:00
2008 Hamptons Marathon 4:26:11
2008 Bermuda International Marathon 4:17:51
2007 Catalina Eco-Marathon 4:41:30
2007 San Francisco Marathon 4:15:55
2006 Florence Marathon 4:22:11
2005 St Jude’s Memphis Marathon: 4:11:39
2006 LA Marathon: 4:13:37
2005 LA Marathon: 4:14:01
2003 LA Marathon: 4:23:35
2002 LA Marathon: 5:08:11
2003 Honolulu Marathon: 4:47:55
2002 Honolulu Marathon: 4:32:53
2001 Honolulu Marathon: 4:51:31
2014 Grete’s Great Gallop (NYC): 2:08:22
2013 NYC Half-Marathon: 2:03:41
2012 Grete’s Great Gallop (NYC): 2:04:28
2012 Hamptons Half-Marathon: 2:03:05
2008 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:54:26
2005 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:48:29
2004 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 2:06:47
2002 Santa Barbara Half-Marathon: 2:06:50

Remembering Nelson Page Aspen (January 19, 1925 – October 3, 2018)

Now I’m the “only” Nelson Page Aspen. My father, for whom I am named, is gone after 93 years and for 55 and a half of those, I never knew a world where I wasn’t “JR” aka “Junior.”

Nelson Senior wore many hats. Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather. Student, soldier, surgeon, numismatist. He saved lives and enhanced lives. He was larger than life. Demanding and strict some times, beyond generous and affectionate at others. He not only looked like Ernest Hemingway (Mariel agreed), he similarly seized life in great handfuls. He may have only stood 5’10, but he always cut a powerful, towering figure with his immaculately trimmed white beard, barrel chest and booming voice.

Everyone in town knew my Dad. Since moving to West Chester sixty years ago with his mother and two daughters, he became a local fixture in all aspects of the community. When he married my beautiful mother and brought her two sons into the family, it was like a Netflix version of The Brady Bunch…and then I arrived (my father actually delivered me because the Obstetrician had gone on a dinner break!) and was christened with his name. Heavy is the head that wears the crown of the “Prince of Pennsylvania!”

My father was an animal lover.  He told me he had considered becoming a Veterinarian, but his patients wouldn’t have been able to communicate with him.  Being an Orthopedic Surgeon suited his macho personality and well into his 90s, people would approach him in the supermarket or hardware store and thank him for saving their lives…fixing their backs…mending their broken bones.  Even without his distinguished naval service, he would have been a hero.  Back to the animals: after we moved off the farm and said goodbye to the horses (and goats, chickens, donkeys and ducks), there was an endless parade of dogs with whom my dad shared a special bond.  The mastiffs, Kleine & Shasta, got daily rides to the drive-thru window at McDonald’s for hamburgers.  Logan the Labrador was treated to steak every Friday night.  Dad is survived not only by his loving family but his beloved pit bull rescue Craig who landed in the proverbial pot of jam the lucky day my folks decided to stop by the SPCA.  The canine list goes on and on….
A self-made man who put himself through medical school and supported his family by driving a horse-drawn cart to deliver milk in the pre-dawn hours, he not only became a successful doctor but the author of two books, founder of the esteemed Chester County Currency Club and served on President Gerald Ford’s Assay Commission.  Dad was instrumental in the reissue of $2 bills into our currency.  His passion for Bermudian Coins and Currency resulted in his serving on their Board of Governors and earned him a place of honor in their historical museum.
A man of his generation, he was smart and sensitive enough to evolve and change with the times.  He was great company right up until the end and had a wide circle of friends of all ages and backgrounds.  “Doc Aspen” was well known, well respected and well loved.
We almost lost dad in 2015 but a drug called “Entresto” blessed him (and us) with an additional three years of good health and vigor.  When its benefits finally faded, so did he…but relatively quickly and, thanks to the loving care of my mother, brother Reese & his wife Mary, in the home he had loved for decades.  We got to spend lots of quality time together, as we always had, and nothing was left unsaid or unresolved.
Nelson Page Aspen, Sr. passed away quietly at home, in his favorite chair overlooking his beautiful back yard filled with the beloved birds, squirrels and fish he tended to over the decades.  I will strive to continue living up to his name.  I love you, Dad, as I have from Day One as I will until my own Last Day.

My new cabaret show will premiere…”Just in Time!”

Here’s the press release for my new cabaret show.  If you’re in NYC this April, I hope you can join me.  Reservations are a must!

Veteran Entertainment Personality/Author Nelson Aspen opens his new cabaret show, "Just in Time," at New York City's iconic Don't Tell Mama, April 5 and 12. 

Known to millions of international TV fans as their "One Degree of Separation" from Hollywood's A-list, Nelson Aspen returns to the cabaret stage after sold out runs in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and around Australia including the world-famous Sydney Opera House. "Just in Time," featuring Musical Director Gerry Dieffenbach and his band as well as guest stars from the Broadway stage, traces Aspen's musical path through various genres as he carved out his unique niche in the showbiz community. At December's preview of the new production featuring guest Ilene Kristen, he packed the house to SRO and enjoyed several ovations.

With humor, heart and expert storytelling skills, Aspen shares songs and stories everyone will recognize from their own pop culture experiences. "Just in Time" follows up his popular "Full Circle" show from 2015/16, which included appearances by Anita Gillette, Shelly Burch, Deven Green, Monica Horan and other stage/screen stars. You never know what famous faces might turn up onstage or in the audience when Nelson Aspen performs.  According to Don't Tell Mama manager and cabaret vet Sidney Meyer, Aspen's performances "are like giving the audience a hug!"  TVNZ's Rebecca Wright proclaimed the show "polished, at times poignant and ultimately riotous." 

For more information or interview requests, visit www.nelsonaspen.com or email nelsonaspen@yahoo.com

Asked to describe his eclectic mix of music and merriment, Aspen said, "Imagine going to Studio 54 for a dinner party with Irving Berlin, Julie Andrews, Barbara Eden, Harry Connick Jr and The Captain & Tennille!" He ought to know...in addition to his long TV career, he has authored books including "Let's Dish Up A Dinner Party!" "Hollywood Insider: Exposed," "My Prime Time" and "Dinner at Nelson's."  

"I used to think I was born 40 years too late, but my musical experience has shown me I was actually born...Just in Time!"

Nelson Aspen: Just in Time, April 5 and 12, 7pm at Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46 Street (Restaurant Row), NYC. $20 Cover, 2 drink minimum (Cash only). Reservations after 4pm Daily, 212-757-0788. www.donttellmamanyc.com

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

February 2018 marks my 15th Anniversary with Australia’s morning show, SUNRISE.  In “TV time,” that is a great milestone.  It seems like only yesterday I was on the Oscars Red Carpet with Melissa Doyle commemorating my 10th year.  My very FIRST appearance, February 2003, was chatting to “Mel & Kochie” (I didn’t know who was who!) about that year’s Academy Awards and a long love affair with Aussie viewers was born.  Later that year, my reports became daily (hourly, in fact) and I started to cover more than just showbiz headlines but breaking news (arrests, deaths, births, you name it!) and conducting celebrity interviews.  I have interviewed hundreds of A-List’ers and been privileged to report from not only Tinseltown’s most glamorous red carpets, but from important news scenes for stories like Superstorm Sandy and the deaths of Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
It’s afforded me unique opportunities to live out so many adventures on camera with famous friends & fans all around the world.  Driving lessons in 007’s Aston Martin in London…climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Edwina Bartholomew…stuffing Christmas stockings with the Victoria’s Secret Angels…singing onstage with the Wiggles…taking hula lessons in Waikiki and playing with white lion cubs in Las Vegas.  I’ve gotten to share my musical passions, performing at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Sydney Opera House, promoting my books HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: EXPOSED and DINNER AT NELSON’s around Oz and even sharing my love of running as Aussie audiences helped cheer me on through 20 marathons and having Foreign Minister Julie Bishop among my favorite running partners.  Where else could I have had a tea party with Dame Julie Andrews one day, a football lesson with the Sydney Swans the next and then scale a skyscraper with Martina Navratilova after that!?
In addition to challenging, rewarding reporting, I’ve gotten to see the world and (best of all!) make enduring friendships with colleagues and viewers, alike.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring at the next “Sunrise!”  Thank you & Good On ‘Ya, Australia!
For a look back at my first 15 years with “Sunrise,” check out the highlight videos on my YouTube Channel!

Running Report 2017!

Running Report 2017

At the end of last year, I felt I was getting burned out on organized running events and pledged to spend more time running on my own. Ironically, a sprained ankle (not from running!) and the flu prevented me from the only two races I’d planned with the New York Road Runners.

But thanks to my running coach, Baker, and trainer, Frankie, I kept challenged all year long and took full advantage of my beloved Riverside & Central Parks for workouts. In fact, I think I spent the least amount of time inside Gyms than any year since I became a runner! Not only do I get to savor the Great Outdoors, I’ve turned the whole world into my own Health Club.

Work assignments keep me on the move in addition to all the travel my Partner & I enjoy, so I got to experience some scenic runs in 2017.  In addition to old favorites like East Hampton, the canyons in and around Beverly Hills, Downtown LA & Santa Monica and my hometown in Pennsylvania, I spent time running around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak, Singapore, Northern California’s Napa Valley and San Francisco,  Atlanta’s “hot, hilly, humid” Piedmont Park, Boston Harbor and exotic Amanoi in Vietnam.

Of course, occasionally I do enjoy the company of a running companion.  Especially when it’s a charming, brainy lady like Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop or Meteorologist Amy Freeze.
When it came time to tally up the Mileage for 2017, I was happily surprised (see sidebar with total) and as fun as it is to see High Numbers, Quality trumps Quantity.
With Australia’s Fabulous Foreign Minsiter, Julie Bishop:
Baltimore Harbor:
Hot-Lanta, Georgia:
Central Park, NYC:
Beverly Hills:
Boston Harbor:
Amanoi, Vietnam:
Singapore:
Riverside Park, NYC:
Napa Valley:
With my pal, Ultra-Marathon Man, Dean Karnazes at his home in Northern California:
San Francisco:

MILES LOGGED

2017 – 1160 (1866.83 km)

2016 – 1212.5 (1951.32 km)
2015 – 1092.8 (1758.69 km)
2014 – 1169.5 (1882.12 km)
2013 – 1323.6 (2130.1 km)
2012 – 1175.2 (1891.30 km)
2011 – 1200 (1931.21 km)
2010 – 1105.6 (1779.29 km)
2009 – 1070.1 (1722.16 km)
2008 – 1152 (1853.96 km)
2007 – 1300 (2091.7 km)
2006 – 1064 (1712.34 km)
2005 – 1143 (1839.08 km)
2004 – 944.9 (1520.34 km)
2003 – 834.2 (1342.22 km)
NELSON’S MARATHON TIMES

In addition to dozens of 5ks and 10ks, here are Nelson’s marathon times:

*PERSONAL BESTS!
2007 DC National Marathon: 4:03:46
2006 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:47:47
2011 Ted Corbitt 15k: 1:21:42
2005 Run for the Bay 10k: 45:38
2007 Santa Monica Mountains Trail 9k: 52:14 (1st Place Men 40-44, 9th Overall)
2011 Achilles Hope & Possibility 8k: 41:01
2009 Run for Central Park, 4 miler: 31:22
2006 Achievable Foundation 5k: 21:58

2014 LA Marathon: 4:42:22
2013 Hamptons Marathon 4:27:55
2011 NYC Marathon 4:21:37
2011 San Francisco Marathon 4:25:37
2010 Hamptons Marathon 4:19:48
2009 Hamptons Marathon 4:24:00
2008 Hamptons Marathon 4:26:11
2008 Bermuda International Marathon 4:17:51
2007 Catalina Eco-Marathon 4:41:30
2007 San Francisco Marathon 4:15:55
2006 Florence Marathon 4:22:11
2005 St Jude’s Memphis Marathon: 4:11:39
2006 LA Marathon: 4:13:37
2005 LA Marathon: 4:14:01
2003 LA Marathon: 4:23:35
2002 LA Marathon: 5:08:11
2003 Honolulu Marathon: 4:47:55
2002 Honolulu Marathon: 4:32:53
2001 Honolulu Marathon: 4:51:31
2014 Grete’s Great Gallop (NYC): 2:08:22
2013 NYC Half-Marathon: 2:03:41
2012 Grete’s Great Gallop (NYC): 2:04:28
2012 Hamptons Half-Marathon: 2:03:05
2008 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:54:26
2005 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:48:29
2004 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 2:06:47
2002 Santa Barbara Half-Marathon: 2:06:50

 

My 2017 Showbiz Year in Review!

Lucky me! Yet again, I’ve had a front row seat for the biggest showbiz stories.  Whether I’m in Hollywood working the Oscars, covering Red Carpet premieres or taking audiences behind the scenes for set visits (this year included GODZILLA in Atlanta, DADDY’S HOME 2 in Boston and WILL & GRACE in Los Angeles), my favorite assignments usually involve the Art of Conversation.

This year, I was privileged to have scores of 1:1 sit-downs with some of the biggest stars in Entertainment.  Among the A-List’ers I interviewed:  Matt Damon, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr, Kate McKinnon, Steve Carrell, Charlize Theron, Vin Diesel, Jodie Foster, Jeff Daniels, Liam Neeson, Jamie Foxx.  It’s always a treat to meet and speak with “Legends” of the industry and in 2017, that included Mel Gibson, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Lynda Carter, Morgan Freeman, Ann Margret, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin and a reunion with Warren Beatty, with whom I worked in one of the most notoriously “bad movies” ever made: 1987’s ISHTAR.
I had a big year in Music!  Not just my own singing gigs in Los Angeles, NYC and Philadelphia (see the “Music” page of my website) but shoots with some of the biggest names in the Biz: Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Fifth Harmony, Carlos Santana & The Isley Brothers, Postmodern Jukebox, Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow, The Chainsmokers, Lea Michele.  Fascinating and fun!
I’m always a very frequent flyer for both business and pleasure.  2017 saw my passport stamped internationally in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore in addition to all my US travels that stretched from South Beach Miami to Napa Valley, California.  Wherever I travel, my running gear goes along and it’s always a treat to meet up with like minded fitness fanatics like “UltraMarathon Man” Dean Karnazes and Australia’s fab Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop.
Of course, showbiz news isn’t always pleasant.  The passing of great stars (Jerry Lewis and Roger Moore spring to mind), disasters like the California wildfires and shocking revelations such as the Weinstein & Spacey sex abuse scandals kept me on my toes.
Thank you for all your enthusiastic support for my endeavors…it’s always fun to communicate through social media (Twitter & Instagram) and I look forward to more great adventures together in the New Year.   For now, here’s a look at my 2017 Highlights.  Let me know what were your favorite moments!

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