Snow, Games, Contests and Skis

February 13th, 2014

If there’s one thing North Lake Tahoe knows how to do, it’s throw festivals. The north shore hosts a multitude of winter festivals from Jan. to March, celebrating all that Mother Nature has to offer. These events range in style from dances and costume contests to ski races and the legendary Polar Bear Swim. Below is a round up of highly anticipated festival dates and activities:

SnowFest!
Roughly 100 events fill North Lake Tahoe with good times as SnowFest! comes to town Feb. 28-March 9. The festival tributes infamous spring skiing by bringing visitors and locals alike together in celebration. Laser shows, parades, eating contests, bar games and ski races are just the tip of the iceberg at this ten-day festival. A crowd favorite is the Gar Woods Polar Bear Swim where only the brave jump in Tahoe’s 40-degree water. This year’s SnowFest! theme is “Bringing Back the 80’s”, so prepare for a good time in day-glow attire and wayfarer sunglasses.

Alpenglow Mountain Festival Presented By Nature’s Bakery
Get out into nature at the Alpenglow Mountain Festival presented by Nature’s Bakery Feb. 14-March 2. Events include guided ski tours night and day, snowshoe tours, winter films, avalanche safety classes, women’s wine and waxing clinics and more. The event kicks off on Valentine’s Day with a Sweetheart Sunset Snowshoe and closes with a Tahoe favorite, The 38th Anniversary Great Ski Race.

 

 

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Beginners Hit The Slopes in January

January 10th, 2014

North Lake Tahoe invites beginners and winter sports enthusiasts alike to hit the slopes for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. The National SnowSports Industry Association puts on the event to ignite and rekindle passions for skiing and snowboarding.

 

Resorts offer cool deals found on the GoTahoeNorth website all month long to make it even easier to get on the mountain.

 

Homewood Mountain Resort takes learn to ski and ride month to a whole new level by encouraging beginners all season long. Get a lift ticket, rentals and lesson for $49 online the day before hitting the slopes. This package is a $40 savings, available Sunday-Friday. Homewood also offers free intermediate and advanced lessons at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily.

 

Sugar Bowl offers a Learn to Ski and Ride Development program for $89-$99. This is a full day event that operates on both sides of the mountain, even on holidays. With a 3:1 student to instructor ratio, beginners are sure to conquer their goals.

 

Boreal Mountain Resort is offering a Take 3, Ride FREE program that’s hard to pass up. Take three lessons between Jan. 6 and Feb. 14 and receive a free season pass. The $129 online only package provides rental equipment for each 90-minute lesson with a professional instructor.

 

During the week of Jan. 13-17, Diamond Peak encourages snow play with First Time Beginner and Beginner Group Lesson Packages. Purchase a $39 package that includes a lesson, rental equipment and an all day beginner lift ticket. These one-hour 45-minute lessons are great for everyone age four and up who have had two or fewer snowsport experiences.

 

Beginners at the Tahoe-Donner Downhill Ski Area are sure to excel at the uncrowded resort. First timers receive an all day lift ticket, rentals and two-hour group lesson for $39 Jan. 6-10 and 13-16. The Cross Country Ski Center will also feature Learn to Ski packages for those looking to try cross-countryskiing instead of downhill.

 

Learn to ski or snowboard at Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from January 14-30. For $49 beginners receive a beginner lift ticket, rentals and lessons for adults and kids age 3+.

 

Granlibakken ski hill has the perfect balance between learning slopes and downhill thrills. There is a ski school for first-timers and people looking to fine-tune skills. With rentals and both full and half-day tickets, snowsport enthusiasts of all levels will enjoy themselves.

 

Aspiring skiers and boarders looking for deals all season long should head to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. The mountain offers an $89 First Timer Package that includes a two-hour lesson, beginner lift ticket and rental equipment. This is a great opportunity for beginners, ages 11+, to get a feel for the mountain throughout the winter.

 

For those looking to stay on more level ground, Tahoe XC provides free introductory and intermediate skate skiing lessons and introductory cross-country lessons. Pick up a free child trail pass or buy an adult trail pass, $24, and rentals, $20, to receive free lessons spread throughout the week.

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Olympic Heritage Week Celebrated in North Lake Tahoe

January 10th, 2014

The Fourth Annual Olympic Heritage Celebration kicks off at Sugar Pine Point Saturday, January 11 starting a weeklong celebration of the Olympic heritage in North Lake Tahoe. Events include meet-and-greets with Olympians, walking tours, races and biathlon training. Among the many events is a tradition started by Walt Disney before the 1960 Olympics. The tribal dance tradition that helped bring snow to the Sierras before the 1960 Winter Olympic Games will be recreated at the Opening Ceremonies.

 

Worried about the lack of snow in 1960, Walt Disney, who orchestrated the ceremonies, brought in tribal dancers to coach the snow to fall.  The Olympic Heritage Celebration committee followed Disney’s lead in 2012 when the same weather pattern emerged as the long-planned festivities were about to begin.

 

“We have invited the Eagle Wing Dancers back to our opening ceremonies at Sugar Pine Point State Park on January 11th to perform, among other ceremonial dances, a snow dance in front of the iconic Tower of Nations at the park entrance”, said Heidi Doyle Executive Director of the Sierra State Parks Foundation, one of the program sponsors. “We encourage the community to join us as we honor our Olympic Heritage and dance for snow”, she continued.

 

In addition to the tribal dancers, former Winter Olympic athletes and dignitaries will be on hand to light the caldron and take a guided tour of the Olympic Trails at the state park where the Olympic Nordic events took place 64 years ago.

 

“We will make sure everyone has a great time experiencing our local Olympic Heritage, ” said Rob Weston, a park volunteer whose business, West Shore Sports, is a partner for the events.  “This entire week of events will be an opportunity to meet with former winter Olympians and to try out something new.  We have a full state of events and invite the public to join us,” said Weston.

 

Olympic Heritage Week consists of a series of programs designed to highlight the North Tahoe Olympic cultural history as well as recreational events to promote the spirit of fair play and fitness.  In addition, a fundraiser is planned at Granlibakken Resort January 17 to benefit the grooming of snow trails at Sugar Pine Point State Park.  Squaw Valley Day will conclude the week with races, music and closing ceremonies.  The full schedule of events can be found on: www.gotahoenorth.com/events/olympic-heritage-celebration or by calling the Sierra State Parks Foundation office at 530-583-9911.

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International Snow Sculpture Event, Carve Tahoe, Returns to Northstar California

January 10th, 2014

Carve Tahoe returns to Northstar California January 28 to February 2, 2014. San Francisco-based advertising, design and production company Hub Strategy brings this international snow sculpture contest to North Lake Tahoe for the second year.

 

Eight three-member teams from Canada, Finland/Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Mexico, California/The Netherlands, Tahoe/Truckee and Wisconsin will participate in the five-day competition, creating elaborate sculptures from 20-ton blocks of snow using only hand tools, snow and water.

 

Snow sculpture events are extremely popular worldwide, with well-known events around the world.  The snow carvers brave extreme conditions and work tirelessly creating pure, ephemeral sculptures that will last only a short time. Attendees can marvel at the creativity and ingenuity of the artists’ creations for free throughout the event. Sponsors include Finlandia Vodka, Sapporo Beer, Vail Resorts and North Lake Tahoe.

 

The event will once again be judged by Lawrence Noble, Chairman of the Academy of Art University Sculpture Department, known for sculptures and works of art including the legendary Yoda Fountain at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio, San Francisco.

 

“It will be a joy to return to Northstar and enjoy the carvers’ talent once again,” said Noble.

 

Sculptures are best to view when they near completion, Thursday, January 30 through Sunday, February 2. On Friday, January 31 each structure will be lit.

 

“Don’t miss the lighting of the sculptures Friday night,” said Keown.  “We illuminate the sculptures with multi-colored lights and guests can watch as the carvers sculpt all night getting ready for judging on Saturday.”

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North Lake Tahoe Selected as Site of USA Cycling’s Amateur and Para-Cycling Road National Championship

January 2nd, 2014

 North Lake Tahoe has been selected to host USA Cycling’s Amateur and Para-Cycling Road National Championships in 2015 and 2016. The prestigious five-day event is made up of multiple races, including an individual time trial, tandem time trial, a criterium, and road races.

The national championships draw more than 1,000 participants, and thousands of spectators, family members and friends. USA Cycling is the national governing body for cycling in the U.S. and represents more than 2,500 clubs and teams and 70,800 members. The organization hosts a series of road, track, cyclo-cross, mountain bike and BMX national championships across the nation.

North Lake Tahoe’s selection as the home of the cycling event comes only months after the area hosted its first IRONMAN competition in September, and represents the region’s growing popularity as a location for national and international endurance events.

“We are extremely excited to bring the 2015-16 USA Cycling Amateur & Para-cycling Road National Championships to North Lake Tahoe. It is such a beautiful part of the country with spectacular courses,” said Micah Rice, USA Cycling’s vice president of national events. “We are looking forward to sharing it with the riders. We’re confident that the event will produce worthy winners after they compete on the challenging courses in North Lake Tahoe.”

USA Cycling expects strong participation at the event as it returns to Northern California, a stronghold of amateur and professional road cycling.

“Hosting this prestigious race at North Lake Tahoe will be a true win-win for everyone involved”, said Andy Chapman, Chief Marketing Officer for the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association. “Renowned for its spectacular mountain vistas and crystal clear lake, Lake Tahoe’s pristine setting is the perfect environment for athletes to both push themselves and to relax and rejuvenate post race. We look forward to a great race in 2015 and 2016.”

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North Lake Tahoe Receives 2013 Platinum Choice Award from Smart Meetings Magazine

November 18th, 2013

Recipients of the 10th annual Platinum Choice Award given by Smart Meetings Magazine were recently announced, North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus was recognized for setting exemplary standards in a range of categories including ambience, amenities, and excellence in service. Out of thousands that qualify, only 180 are selected for this prestigious honor.

 

The North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus is a marketing cooperative between the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and the North Lake Tahoe Convention and Visitors Bureau. Smart Meetings Magazine is a Bay Area based publication and online resource for meeting professionals.

 

“We are pleased to be honored as one of the best in the hospitality industry by readers and editors of this prominent publication,” said Director of Sales, Jason Neary, of the North Lake Tahoe Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We truly value the opportunity to work with our regional partners in introducing, and sometimes re-introducing, North Lake Tahoe to our target markets situated across the country.”

 

The meetings program at the North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus is responsible for bringing group business to North Lake Tahoe, offering high-caliber professional services to encourage large/small businesses and organizations to choose North Tahoe’s alpine setting. A 20+ year resident of the region, Neary has worked for the North Lake Tahoe Convention & Visitors Bureau for the last 17 years, leading the meetings program team to provide a range of services from fielding information requests about the area along with proposals, to conducting site inspections and coordinating bids.

 

North Lake Tahoe’s affordable meeting facilities are as varied and unique as the surrounding High Sierra terrain. From intimate, small boardroom spaces to timber-lined meeting rooms to upscale ballrooms that fit hundreds, the North Lake Tahoe area offers more than 30 meeting sites in California and Nevada, 200,00 square feet of meeting space and over 7,000 rooms. For details about North Lake Tahoe’s meetings program or to become a partner, visit gotahoenorth.com/meetings.

 

North Lake Tahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. Visitor information centers are located at 380 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village. The North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus, Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association work together to promote North Lake Tahoe as a premier, year-round destination.

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North Tahoe, the Continent’s Cross Country Skiing Capital, Offers Cross Country Skiing Options for All Styles of Skier

November 11th, 2013

Already home to North America’s largest cross country resort and 11 cross country skiing locations scattered across the north shore of Lake Tahoe, the region known as the capital of North American Cross country skiing continues to upgrade its offerings to its dedicated and new skiers equally.

 

Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, now under the management of Sugar Bowl Resort for the second year, has upgraded its grooming, remodeled its Summit Station lodge and improved way finding signage. Now it is introducing fat tire snowbiking and bringing back California’s only resort-based snowkiting school for its second year.

 

But the foundation of Royal Gorge’s success — the 200 kilometers of groomed trails and 6,000 acres of stunning High Sierra terrain — still makes it the largest, and clearly one of the most impressive places in the world to strap on skinny skis.

 

While Royal Gorge headlines North Tahoe’s cross country ski offerings, 10 more cross country skiing locations dot the north shore of Lake Tahoe, offering quiet, secluded trails with expansive views of Lake Tahoe, heart-pounding climbs to mountain-tops or perfectly groomed trails through silent meadows.

And that is what separates North Tahoe from other winter destinations — the diversity of skiing options that it offers. Just like downhill skiers could choose to ski the legendary, Olympic steeps of Squaw Valley, cruise lakeview groomers at Homewood or spend a day at any of the 11 downhill ski resorts in North Tahoe, cross country skiers can find the trails that suit them.  Or they can spend a week exploring the entire range of ski trails in a location with the highest concentration of cross country skiing terrain on the continent.

 

Three more resorts that have marked North Tahoe as one of the most diverse and extensive cross country skiing destinations in the world are Tahoe Donner Cross Country, Tahoe XC and the Auburn Ski Club at Boreal Mountain Resort on Donner Summit. Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center in Truckee offers 52 groomed trails and 100 kilometers of varied terrain that includes climbs to stunning views at Hawk’s Peak, to the secluded Euer Valley. Tahoe XC’s 23 groomed trails out of Tahoe City offer expansive views of Lake Tahoe and a renowned teaching program. The Auburn Ski Club is a renowned training ground for competitive skiers and an affordable skiing location for recreational skiers on 20 kilometers of trails.

 

Cross-country trails at Northstar, the Resort at Squaw Creek and Granlibakken allow lodging guests to ski right from their hotel room or condo. And state park trails like Sugar Pine Point offer free cross-country skiing (although a $10 parking fee is charged) on trails that were used for the 1960 Olympics.

 

The Incline Village Championship Golf Course and the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park at the Tahoe City Golf Course are two more free cross country skiing options. The Incline Village location offers spectacular views of Lake Tahoe, and the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park is ideal for the whole family including kids and dogs. Tahoe City visitors can both cross country ski and snowshoe at the winter sports park, and enjoy a small sledding hill on property for powdery days.

 

Along with its world-class Cross Country ski terrain, North Tahoe puts on the largest cross country ski race west of the Mississippi. The Great Ski Race is an annual fundraiser for Tahoe Cross Country Search and Rescue, an all-volunteer non-profit. Over 800 participants, including some of the world’s best Cross Country skiers and costume-wearing locals, ski the 18 miles from Tahoe City to Truckee, finishing in a harrowing downhill, followed by a legendary party. The 38th annual Great Ski Race is scheduled for Sunday, March 2, 2014.


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Children’s Artwork of IRONMAN Lake Tahoe on Display

October 17th, 2013

The North Lake Tahoe Visitor Information Center is hosting a fundraiser for the art programs of local schools. The center is displaying hand-crafted pieces from classrooms in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee. The pieces on display, all made from recycled materials, are part of the IRONMAN© Lake Tahoe 2013 Children’s Mural Project.

 

The public is invited to view and cast votes for their favorite murals. To cast a vote for a mural purchase a $1 vote. All proceeds are donated the art program that produced the piece. The North Lake Tahoe Visitor Information Center, located at 100 North Lake Blvd (at the Wye) in Tahoe City, will house the murals until November 15 when voting will end.

 

Additionally, four winning tickets will be drawn for the public to win one of the murals for display in their home or business.

 

Students were asked to create pieces inspired by the dedication and strength of the IRONMAN© athletes. The organizations with pieces on display are the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, The Lake Tahoe School in Incline, Tahoe-Truckee High School and the Sierra Expeditionary Learning School in Truckee.

 

Mural #1 Lake Tahoe School, Incline

Art Teacher – Alison Lee

Inspiration: Inspired by the location of this year’s IRONMAN event, Lake Tahoe, and it’s awesome scenic beauty. It also symbolizes what it takes as an athlete in this event.  Hence the title; “Invincible”.

The piece is painted by Madeleine, Ellyse, Emily, Sarina, Daniel and Will in the 8th visual arts class.

 

Mural #2 Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, Kings Beach

Art Teacher, Jenna Bache

Inspiration: Using recycled materials to capture the dynamics of the athletes, the mural was designed to interact with its audience and the elements through movement. The different disciplines of the race are represented with the bike wheel, the pinwheel symbolizing swimming, and the sun for running.

The piece is painted by students in kindergarten through 5th.

Mural #3 Tahoe-Truckee High School, Truckee

Art Teacher: Janette Moseley

Inspiration: Movement, Lake Tahoe, IRONMAN Athletes and the art of Van Gogh.

The piece is painted by students in grades 9-12.

Mural #4 Sierra Expeditionary Learning School, Public Charter School, Truckee

Art Teacher: Jill Stevenson

Inspiration: The children visualized they were the door that leads to the pathway of the IRONMAN. While sharing their thoughts and ideas they noticed there were themes that began to capture their attention: IRONMAN the Super Hero, superhero powers and the Element of Iron, Fe. Through the “voice” of the door they then took these words to write a letter to each of you, which you can see is the focal point of their mural.

The piece is painted by the sixth and seventh grade students, who are so excited to offer their support to each of you super heroes of 2013 IRONMAN Lake Tahoe.

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McDonald and Lundstrom Earn Wins at Inaugural IRONMAN

September 24th, 2013

Chris McDonald (AUS) and Asa Lundstrom (AUS) both recorded IRONMAN titles in the picturesque setting of IRONMAN Lake Tahoe. McDonald earned his sixth IRONMAN crown with a finish time of 8:55:14, while Lundstrom earned her second title with a time of 9:58:53. Both the men’s and women’s pro races were not determined until late in the race and resulted in some terrific action during the run.

 

In the men’s race, emerging out of the settled mist on Lake Tahoe, Romain Guillaume (FRA), Joe Gambles (AUS), Paul Ambrose (AUS), Maik Twelsiek (GER) and Matt Lieto (USA) came out of the water within 13 seconds of each other.

 

On the bike, Twelsiek took control of the men’s race as he forged his way to the lead late in the first half of the bike. Gambles appeared content to shadow Twelsiek until Chris McDonald (AUS) and Guillaume forced the pace. Coming into transition, Twelsiek carried a tentative 1:30 advantage over McDonald, while Gambles slipped to well over six minutes off the leaders pace over the late miles of the bike.

 

Hitting the run, Twelsiek looked strong and held the lead throughout the first 13 miles, however the German succumbed to McDonald’s relentless pressure from behind just before mile 14. McDonald finished off the marathon strong and went on to capture the IRONMAN Lake Tahoe title, making this his second IRONMAN win in four weeks. Twelsiek hung on to second with his 8:57:53 clocking, while Gambles finished third with his 9:02:55 clocking.

 

Top five professional men’s results are below:

 

1.     Chris McDonald                    AUS                   08:55:14

2.     Maik Twelsiek                       GER                   08:57:53

3.     Joe Gambles                        AUS                   09:02:55

4.     Kirill Kotsegarov                   EST                   09:04:39

5.     Kevin Taddonio                    USA                   09:09:09

 

In the women’s race, veteran Dede Griesbauer (USA) celebrated her 42nd birthday by dominating the swim and carried a 4:50 advantage over Catriona Morrison (GBR) and over six minutes on Angela Naeth (CAN), Jeanne Collonge (FRA), and Asa Lundstrom (SWE).

 

Griesbauer relinquished the lead to Lundstrom after 25 miles, with Morrison, Naeth and Collonge biking strong and closing the gap to the front of the race. The field jockeyed for position behind Lundstrom throughout the remainder of the race but it was Lundstrom who dismounted her bike first, with Collonge following her into T2 a half minute back, while Naeth found herself coming off the bike in third in her first IRONMAN, 4:12 off the leaders pace.

 

Lundstrom initially built up over a two minute advantage over Collonge in this first three miles but the lead didn’t last long as Collonge ran her way into the lead at five miles. The battle between the two waged on for the remainder of the run that saw Collonge’s lead expand at one point to over two minutes. Lundstrom’s perseverance proved to be her asset today as she clawed her way back to the front of the race, and had eliminated all but 20 seconds as the women’s race reached 24 miles. Collonge surrendered the lead to Lundstrom in the final mile of the run, and went on to claim the victory. Coming into the finish line chute in second, Collonge finished with a 9:59:43 time, just 51 seconds short of the win. Closing the podium was Morrison with her 10:03:38 finish time.

 

Top five professional women’s results are below:

 

1.     Asa Lundstrom                     SWE                  09:58:53

2.     Jeanne Collonge                   FRA                   09:59:43

3.     Catriona Morrison                 GBR                   10:03:38

4.     Elizabeth Lyles                     USA                   10:08:41

5.     Angela Naeth                        CAN                   10:10:47

 

One of more than 30 events in the global IRONMAN Series, IRONMAN Lake Tahoe featured a two-loop, 2.4-mile swim in the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe at King’s Beach. Athletes went through a lakeside transition before starting a two-loop 112-mile bike course that traveled along the lake into Tahoe City before following the Truckee River past Squaw Valley and into the town of Truckee. From there, the course turned south back toward Lake Tahoe, had a short loop in Martis Camp, continued past Northstar and climbed to Brockway Summit. After a descent back down to Kings Beach, athletes completed a second loop, and then a final, flat 17 miles to finish the bike course at Squaw Valley, home to the 1960 Winter Olympics. With a transition at Squaw, runners proceeded along the Truckee River bike path into Tahoe City, and continued south along the shores of Lake Tahoe to a turnaround in historic Homewood, Calif. The largely flat run course traversed one of the most scenic lake vistas in the world before finishing along the cobbled corridors of the Village at Squaw Valley. The event offered a total professional prize purse of $75,000 and 50 coveted slots to the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship, taking place on Oct. 11 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.

Visit www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/lake-tahoe/results.aspx for event information and official results. For media inquiries should be directed to media@ironman.com.

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Traffic Advisory for IRONMAN Lake Tahoe

September 20th, 2013

IRONMAN Lake Tahoe is set to take place this Sunday, September 22, 2013. While there are various routes motorists can take to circumvent the IRONMAN race course, it is best to traverse the areas between the race start at Kings Beach and the finish at Squaw Valley without interfering with the bike path.

For the quickest and easiest access through the area, start on HWY 267 North to HWY 80 East, take Exit 190 (Pioneer Trail) and then get back on HWY 80 West, and take 89 South, Exit 185 to arrive at Squaw Valley.

There will be limited and temporary road closures throughout the day. However, all roads will return to normal by 5:30 p.m. For a complete listing of road closures visit the IRONMAN website. Due to the limited road space it is not recommended to try to follow any athletes by car during the race.

IRONMAN Lake Tahoe, which features a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run, begins with a swim at King’s Beach. After cyclists pedal through Truckee and over Brockway Summit, they finish at the Village at Squaw Valley.

For more information on the race visit: www.IronmanLakeTahoe.com

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