What was your reason to you doing the C25k? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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What was your reason to you doing the C25k?

Maniceddy profile image

Iv been wondering what everyone’s reason for starting the C25K was?

Mine wasn’t anything to do with fitness, loosing weight, learning to run or anything physical but was to become mentally stronger!

I was at a point where mentally I wasn’t doing well, the options of more medication wasn’t really an option, other routes of self help was proving not to be working well so a gym prescription was something I asked for.

Following this planned 9 week app gave me something to focus on, challenge myself, to make myself go to the gym at least 3 times a week to run on the treadmill. At the beginning I added in swimming and extra gym work but as the runs got longer the rest days became important.

Some days I thought I couldn’t even get out of bed but that nagging voice in my mind told me I had to go.

Tomo is graduation day, week 9, run 3! These last 9 weeks I have found out I am stronger inside and out than I realised, I’m not a weak minded person as I thought, I can push through mental barriers when part of me is saying stop!

I would love to hear other ppl’s stories to what brought them here.

66 Replies
runswithdogs profile image

That's a great reason to start, and looking forward to your graduation post.

I started four years ago as some colleagues convinced me to sign up for a relay race. I didn't want to fail miserably, so I did the C25K program and loved it. Turns out the relay race was cancelled that year, so I never did run it, but I was hooked at that point.

Bazza1234 profile image

I did it because I could never ever run when I was younger. I just wanted to learn "how" to run - no other reason. In fact my goal at the beginning was to be able to run for one kilometre!!! It was an almost inconceivable distance for me to be able to run.

Irish-John profile image
Irish-JohnGraduate in reply to Bazza1234

Overachiever!!! Lol.😂

my DREAM was to be able to run three tenths of a mile "some day" ☺

Look at us now though!☺☺☺☺☺

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to Bazza1234

Well that kilometre has definitely been achieved! Well done

Irish-John profile image

I started because I was similar to you in some ways it seems.Really had lost interest in life and desperate to "feel" something - anything- than the slow soul destroying boredom and pointlessness of it all.

This programme is a gift on so many levels. The people on the Forum also.

Keep running Pal - there is an infinite amount of happy miles in front of you ☺

Copperbird profile image

That is a great reason and good luck with the program.

Mine was because one of my friends is a really keen cyclist and walker/ runner and mentioned casually in a FB post that "anyone can run 5k" and my immediate reaction was, "I couldn't!"

It kept preying on my mind afterwards and I dunno why exactly but at some point it flipped over to - "I wonder if I could...." And I had the image of my mind of me running along the river footpath in the sun .... which is what I was doing on Saturday :)

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to Copperbird

That’s great, well done! I think so many of us believe we can’t, but then we can 😀

Mummycav profile image
MummycavModerator in reply to Maniceddy


I knew I needed to start doing something as the weight was piling on but what tipped me over the edge was one day I quickly walked up a steep hill as I was running very late.....I seriously thought I was goingto have a heart attack by the time I got to the top. I was so ashamed of the state of myself that I started C25K the next day. I am now on week 6 and feeling so much fitter and I have lost a few pounds too. Very pleased with myself but also I have been very surprised at what a mental challenge this is too. I am hoping that if and when I finish that I can keep my motivation going.

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to cheryl_couch_tatty

If you’ve already got to week 4 I believe u will go the whole way! Good luck

cheryl_couch_tatty profile image
cheryl_couch_tattyGraduate in reply to Maniceddy

Thank you. Good luck luck to you too

Madge50 profile image

I was in the throws of being made redundant, a rather unpleasant company that tried all sorts of tricks to make me leave without paying me.....to keep myself from falling in a black hole and to do something physical, just for 30 minutes, I was ‘working from home’ but no one contacted me.

And blimey look what happened! it gave me the strength to keep going, physically and mentally,(the company did the right thing in the end...) that aside, four years on, (slowly, very slowly) I’ve now done 3 half marathons....and my life - almost! Revolves around running 🏃‍♀️😂😄 so much for just doing 30 minutes.....😂


Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to Madge50

Wow it sounds like uv really got the running bug. Well done for ur achievements!

Mand102 profile image

Well done to you. Look forward to yiur graduation post next! 😊

I have a couple of reasons, one being that I'm struggling with depression and anxiety, another being that my 17 year old daughter fancied starting running so I thought it would be something good to do together.

The main reason though is that I plan to do a few races for Alzheimer's. My gran passed away last year with it, and my mum was diagnosed in her early 60's. She's now in her late 60's and in the late stages. I also support people with it in my job, so want to help in the fight against it.

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to Mand102

That’s lovely that you are doing this for others as well as yourself. I hope the regular exercise is helping the depression and anxiety. Good luck

Mine was a multitude of things - since hitting 50 five years ago I seemed to go downhill - overweight, sluggish and hated the way I looked, felt - I had no confidence hated shopping for clothes, tried several attempts at dieting and various fat clubs, tried the gym, swimming, walking - my light bulb moment happened - the night after I reluctantly attended a summer ball - lots of people my age and older looked fabulous , fit and healthy whilst I felt like a frumpy old age hag - looking at the photos the next day of everyone - something hit me like a bolt of lightening - a new determination to change the way I look and feel. It's took a while but never ever have I felt so good from the inside out - I am addicted to running and love trying new clothes. Still not quite there weight wise but feel so healthy , believe me if I can do this anyone can. 😂

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to Heartlesstroll

It’s great u productivity did something to turn around ur life to make urself feel better from the inside out because if the inside feels good it changes u positively in many ways. Good luck with this journey

Christianne57 profile image
Christianne57Graduate in reply to Heartlesstroll

Great inspiring post! Can totally relate to your story except my LBM happened when I turned 60. It took over six months of being in the gym to get the confidence to start C25K and its been a total life changer 😊 W3R1 today and looking forward to it 😊

I think its a frightening thought getting old - but I don't fancy the alternative so onwards and upwards - just wish I had felt like this way in my 30's 40's, health wise this is the healthiest I have ever felt - all down to getting off the couch and starting C25K - must say I felt like giving up in the early days when the weight would not budge and I used to dread stepping on the scales - even though my clothes were looser. :)

DeeRunning profile image

That's so wonderful to read about the life-changing realisations you've had. Congratulations on getting to week 9 and for your upcoming graduation :)

I started because I had what i thought was a rotator cuff injury (pain started in January), but what has now been diagnosed as frozen shoulder. So, basically, running is about the only thing left I CAN do. I was walking 5kms regularly in the park, and there are a bunch of joggers/runners down there and I always looked at them with admiration. During one of my recent walks I decided to jog for a bit, then came home and downloaded the podcasts (for about the third time in the last 7 years lol). But this time I'm doing it.

I'm only finishing up week 2 tomorrow morning, but my shuffling/walking around the park has proven to be a lifesaver. I'm barely holding it together from lack of sleep for the last few months, and frustration and hurt over the lack of support, both in my personal life and from the healthcare providers I've seen thus far. It's hard to drag myself down to the park most times, but I am so very grateful once I have started that I don't want to finish the runs. It's such an amazing programme.

Good luck for tomorrow. You got this.

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to DeeRunning

Sorry to hear about ur pain and lack of support. Iv heard these park runs are a great way of meeting ppl, a place for encouragement and support for each other. Good luck and I look forward to seeing Graduate next to ur name some day

JetsOwner profile image

Nice to hear. Exercise is a great natural healer. I don’t know how really but I feel better with goals, feeling proud of myself, sleeping well after being tired, changing some part of my life, sense of achievement etc.

I started because I went back to work full time late 40s and quickly put weight on and became stiff. So eventually started C25K and now just getting used to making 30 min runs part of my week.

We must all keep it up.

I started C25K because I was 57 and realised I had to start focussing on fitness as I got older. Muscles decline rapidly as you age so they need to be worked on. I can't say I get any mental Buzz but I know my physical health is great. In the Times survey last weekend I was classed as a no frills runner.

Fairydust777 profile image

Well done for getting this far! You should be proud of yourself 😁 I started C25K for a few reasons. Firstly, it was to get fitter - I changed to an office based job and slowly saw the weight creeping on. Secondly, I felt like I needed a goal and challenge. I used to enjoy going to fitness classes but I wanted to do something that was just me so running seemed perfect. Thirdly, it was to simply let off some steam. When running, you’re alone with your thoughts and somehow, after sorting through them, you feel better. Well I do anyway! I think running has impacted my mental health for the better and put a spring back in my step. Like you, I used to suffer from mental health issues so I know how hard it is to get out of bed and function - exercise is the last thing you want to do even when you know it’s good for you. Good luck with your final C25K run! And while doing it, think about how far you have came and what you have achieved 🤗

My knees hurt when I walked downhill or down stairs. I knew if I went to the GP I’d be told to lose weight and do exercise to strenghen my knees so I joined slimming world and started c25k (on the treadmill to protect my knees). Lost 10 kilos and after graduating from c25k I could run 5k outside quite comfortably, and my knees no longer hurt. I then lapsed, found myself back on the couch, put on a couple of kilos and my knees started twinging again. So am completing c25k again and will make running a necessary and constant part of my life this time round. That’s the plan!

For me, to convince myself that my fitness hadn't completely gone. I am 56 and steadily gaining weight, hoping to make some changes, spurred on by the running

TailChaser profile image

Hi Maniceddy. We’re at similar points in our journey - it’s been quite a time hasn’t it! Well done to you 🤗

I looked in the mirror at Christmas and saw myself settling for middle age 50+ lump, with inevitable health problems in a few years time because ‘that’s what happens in my family’. Well, it’s not going to happen to me. I’ve always been fitter and more bl@@dy minded than the rest of them. I don’t settle for the inevitable.

I’ve two teenagers to look after who have bright futures and I don’t want them looking after me. So, I’ve lost 10lbs so far, I can run for 30 minutes and I’m feeling healthier than I have in years. I might even give my youngest teenager a run for his money at Parkrun in a couple of weeks 😁

All the best on your journey Maniceddy, and congratulations 👍👍🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️😁

That’s a good reason well done. I’m coming up to week 2 and Im 44. I started this to lose a little weight. I don’t enjoy exercise that much, tried everything. But finding I’m really enjoying getting out, putting music on and running. I’m pushing myself to complete the 5k

TailChaser profile image
TailChaserGraduate in reply to Trayb

Well done Trayb , getting out there is half the battle! You can do it 👍😀

Theziggy profile image

I started walking about 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2, to manage my condition with diet and exercise - I had also gone off the noxious weed too (11 years smoke free tomorrow), and when I was walking I would look wistfully at people running and think 'I'd love to do that' and so I did. I started by myself as I had never heard of C25K, and then our council ran a C25K which I joined and found this forum at the same time.

Now after nearly 2 months on the IC I may have to start from scratch when (not if) I get better.

Same reasons I picked up piano. Just to prove to myself that I didn't need talent to do something and enjoy it. Then I got hooked of course.

limberlou profile image

I started with my daughter who is trying to up her fitness in readiness to try to get into the army next year. She used to do gymnastics, Acro gym, trampolining, ballet and tap from the age of 3 up to 18. Then took a break while at Uni and didn’t get back into it again.

I never did any voluntary sport when younger but ended up coaching gym when my daughter started and that kept me pretty fit. Then started running with a friend when I was nearly 40 and ended up running Fun Runs for about 4 years.

Then I started working full time and sport took a back seat.

In January this year, for the first time in my life, I had flu,real flu and took to my bed for nearly a week, then graduated to dozing on the settee for a week and then went back to work but still fell asleep as soon as I sat down at home. I coughed and coughed all through February and March and my doctor eventually gave me an inhaler as I was struggling to walk up slight slopes and really breathless. I felt like an old woman for the first time in my life.

This March I retired and my daughter said did I fancy doing Couch25k?.... so here we are....after 25 years of no sport barring the odd swim with my grandson , maybe twice a year and walking quite a lot with my sons and daughter and I’m now running every other day and loving it.

We are on week 6 now, did run 1 yesterday and looking forward to tomorrow’s run. Sometimes I run in Devon, where I live and sometimes in Bridgwater where my daughter is.sometimes with her and sometimes alone and then we compare our runs on Strava and Garmin Connect.

Really loving this site too as it inspires me when I am having a low day and think I can’t do it.

You have done brilliant well done - feeling positive is a wonderful feeling I am so pleased you now feel like this 😃

DebJogsOn profile image

Great post and question.

I started because I felt my work life was getting toxic. It was making me really stressed and unhealthy. I kept promising myself I'd start looking after myself, find a healthy work life balance, eat better, exercise... but I never did. One Saturday morning last August I came across an article about C25K and decided to have ago there and then. You'd laugh if you saw the crazy outfit I pulled together to run in and it was really really hard - but the combination of realising how out of condition I was, the fact that it regularly got me into the great outdoors and the fact that 9 weeks seemed like a realistic commitment made me stick at it.

I graduated in November and this weekend ran my first 10k. I'm fitter, less stressed, actually make time for myself every other day and eat more healthily (mainly because I don't binge eat to stave off stress).

It's possibly the most positive thing I've ever done for my own sense of well-being. 😊

Enjoy your graduation and the amazing running journey to follow.

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to DebJogsOn

Well done on ur first 10k! Not sure il go as far as that lol running really does help on so many levels.

DebJogsOn profile image
DebJogsOnGraduate in reply to Maniceddy

Ha! I said I wouldn't run further than 5k about 3 months ago - you never can tell.

I started C25K because I wanted to get fitter and managed to do the 9 weeks without any problems in fact one of the days I managed to do 6k so was quite impressed also did 10 km more by error as went out to run 5k and ended up turning round and ran it back. Can't run at the moment as have had a brain tumour op to get rid of a GBM4 but I do walk and so far have done 8k hopefully will be allowed to run probably in the new year.

Anthie profile image

I started last August in my mid-forties because I loved walking outdoors, swimming and going to aquagym sessions but despite having played tennis in my younger days, was unable to run for longer than a minute without ending up gasping for air and because of back problems, without getting completely blocked and unable to walk for a few days. After several years working on the back (with intense stretching sessions and physio), I also saw a cardiologist who advised to try intervals (fast and slow). I was already into nordic walking and we did intervals but I envied those runners out there who seemed so free to go as long as they wanted. By chance, came across an article from The Guardian mentioning a few running programmes for those who couldn't run. When I saw the C25K podcasts, I thought yes, it sounds great, I can try and see what happens... I was really wary because of my back but I finished the programme! My back is stronger now than when I started and I'm completely hooked, running longer distances (10k...) than I've ever run. I enjoy every run, the hard ones as much as the good ones because when you're done, you feel such a sense of achievement : every run feels different in terms of physical sensations but what is constant is that great sense of carelessness and freedom, just feel your body glide into the rhythm...

So, yes, it's also a mental journey! You don't know where it will take you. Enjoy your graduation run and wish you a lot more happy running afterwards :-)

Well done. I also do it for mental fitness as well as physical but started out just wanting to get fitter and lose weight. I haven't lost weight but it does make a big difference to me. The program gets disrupted by insomnia, other health stuff and difficult life events but still trying to hang in there. I think it's a brilliant program and the forum really helps people to stay with it or go back to it if they needed a break.

triumphbabe profile image

Well done on coming so far and good luck for your graduation run today - it's a fantastic feeling! Have you tried running outside yet? I love being in the open air but I'm lucky enough to live in the French countryside - didn't enjoy it so much in the streets of Worthing recently, although the Park Run along the prom was great.

I started in January at the age of 66, partly to get a bit fitter and partly because I thought it would be fun to do the Park Run with my daughter and twin granddaughters (age 8). Well I did the Park Run and I am now totally hooked on running - or rather jogging at a snail's pace! I injured my knee last week so haven't run for a week now and am missing it desperately - hope to get out again tomorrow.

Onwards and upwards!

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to triumphbabe

I’m hoping my friend will run with me soon and encourage me to run outside as I’m actually quite scared to do so which sounds barmey! I think once Iv ran outside a few times il be ok, it will help make the time go quicker also because treadmill running can get quite boring.

triumphbabe profile image
triumphbabeGraduate in reply to Maniceddy

I sometimes run on the track at a local sports centre but I must admit I find it incredibly boring just going round and round, so i imagine that a treadmill would be very similar. What scares you about running outside? Is it fear of people looking at you and judging? If so, don't worry - most people are so concerned about themselves that they don't notice any one else! Just get out there and enjoy it. I went out for a short run after posting this morning - only 2.5k - knees ok so far!

JulesG1 profile image
JulesG1Graduate in reply to Maniceddy

The great thing about running outside is you see all sizes, shapes, ages and speeds. I was so shy I used to go very early in the morning so no one would see how bad I was. Then I had my lightbulb moment, going to the cinema with my daughter one evening, she saw our bus coming and said ‘run’ so we did and, due to the traffic, we caught the bus. As I got on, fumbling with steamed up glasses, I pulled off my hat and my glasses, paid and followed my daughter down the bus. At this point several people literally dropped their jaws in surprise (presumably) that I was old and had run for some distance to catch the bus. They had probably made the assumption we were both 20 somethings. I have never cared what people think since then.

Three years ago after a freaky virus I ended up with major damage to my inner ear which gave me sudden and complete loss of hearing in one ear and also any sense of balance. I was unable to walk or move for sometime without being incredibly sick as I had labrynthritis like room spinning symptoms. I had to do a lot of physic in order to be able to walk without falling over and still have some significant problems. 12 months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a full mastectomy on one side. I got pretty down, but had some fabulous support from he charity Macmillan, who amongst other things provided me with a personal trainer and gym sessions to help me gain my fitness and to help the movement in my arm which had been compromised. After a few sessions, which would always start with a warm up walk on the treadmill, my trainer said it was time to get me running. I gave her a look and pointed out that I had never run (not even cross country at school as I had incredibly bad cramps) so that was one thing I would not be doing. At the same time one friend had mentioned C25K and another was just starting the programme...

And that was the beginning of it. I downloaded the podcasts and started on the treadmill, but was then encouraged by my daughter to try running outside. And I was hooked.

Got to the end of week 8 before going back for a lumpectomy to remove another nasty in the other breast, and after a couple of weeks of walking was given permission to start running - had to strap myself up with two sports bras as any movement was pretty painful and started from week 1 again.

I couldn't believe it when I actually graduated and could run 5km in half an hour, but am now hooked. Last week I actually managed to run 20.5 km !

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to Razouski

Wow ur story is amazing. Uv been thro a lot and still fought. Well done x

Razouski profile image
Razouski in reply to Maniceddy

I think it has helped me an awful lot with my mental health, as I was pretty depressed and feeling a loss of control. Running has given me back the control over my body, and given me such a boost to my self esteem and just general well being. It's great therapy. :-)

Irish-John profile image
Irish-JohnGraduate in reply to Razouski

You are truly inspirational R ☺

Razouski profile image
Razouski in reply to Irish-John

Thanks, Irish-John, when I was doing the C25K you were one of the people who kept me going. :-)

Irish-John profile image
Irish-JohnGraduate in reply to Razouski

We run as one ☺

Anthie profile image
AnthieGraduate in reply to Razouski

WOW! Admirable! A great lesson for all of us. Keep running!

Razouski profile image
Razouski in reply to Anthie

I will do my best... :-)

Christianne57 profile image
Christianne57Graduate in reply to Razouski

Thank you for sharing your brave and inspiring journey. Love your attitude and positivity. Following in your footsteps x x

Well done can’t wait till I get to week 9. My reason was basically I love a challenge. Starting week 7 this week so hopefully won’t be too before I join you.

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to Notjustjanice

Keep going, just 2 more weeks

I’m 36, have two little kids and haven’t done a whole lot of exercise since the second was born, two years ago. This winter was a particularly sedentary one, I was sick with a nagging cough that got worse with exercise or cold air for 5 months and put on weight. Before that I was feeling the urge to get healthier and had started walking regularly and doing some yoga. Once I was feeling better I realized how utterly out of shape I was, and was shocked how much difference just 5 months made - it got me thinking about what would happen over the next years and decades if I didn’t get fit sooner rather than later. So I signed up for a 5k event and then sought out a training program! I also started doing yoga videos at home, which is great - two complimentary forms of movement that you can do anywhere, no gym membership required. It’s been slow going but I’m in week 6 now and will be doing the 5k in just under two weeks - can’t wait to see how it goes!

Various reasons but mainly I was feeling so sluggish. I remembered how, as a child, I loved running across the top of a grassy hill on windy days and I wanted to recapture that excitement. I certainly feel more uncluttered, both mentally and physically now. It's given me a sense that 'if I can do this, I can do anything!' (And I've cut down on my medication too. Bonus!)

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to AnnaRC

Since completing this it has made me believe in myself more. Well done

I was middle aged, not overweight but unfit. After a series of non life threatening ailments and operations I decided I needed to do something about it. I now feel better than I have for years and am only on one regular daily medication.

I started because I have turned 50 and become pre-menopausal. I read that keeping fit and healthy helps with symptoms. For me it has helped. I do a sedentary job and don't get to move much. Was never good at sport at school so lived with the thought I would always be terrible at it. Well, I have now proved to myself I can do it. I am on week 7, running for 25 minutes and feeling better than ever.

Maniceddy profile image
ManiceddyGraduate in reply to Jacks66

Brill 🤗

Mummycav profile image
MummycavModerator in reply to Jacks66

Excellent, well done...I love how we continue to surprise ourselves all the time...even after graduation..& you’re not far off 👏🏻👏🏻

Mummycav profile image

Sounds like you’ve made the right decision Maniceddy...running really does work mentally....as well as physically, the programme is excellent for giving us something to focus on...I started the C25k programme to get fitter & lose weight...but I have gained so much more from the programme that you cannot see...it’s my new found addiction...i love it..I want everyone to feel the benefits of running, life’s too short not to!!! I’m glad you’ve found something that helps you, life can be so tough, but if you keep at it it will carry on helping. Running & getting lost in your thoughts...nothing better in my opinion....enjoy every happy mile 🏃‍♂️🏃🏼‍♀️💪🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

I lay in bed over Easter with a cup of tea and C25K came up on the tv. Thought I’ll have a look at the download, this was not me making any commitment other than lying in bed looking at my phone. But then thought let’s give it a go, 4 weeks later I have running gear, am recording myself on Strava and have a husband asking “who is this person and what have they done with my wife”😂 He now comes out with me at 530 am on a work day. I’ve been doing fat fighters for 18 months and have nearly lost 2 stone (slow I know but the wine gets in the way), but boy has the running toned me up and boosted the weight loss in a very short time. The mental benefits are huge and not to be underestimated-I arrive at work buzzing! Bit gutted as just had a bcc removed from leg so told not to run for 3 weeks but I think they were thinking I run at Mo Farrah’s pace, so will go out at weekend taking it v steady as can’t imagine missing my run. I’m boring everyone about my running - just can’t believe I can actually say I’m a runner. Btw I’ve never done any running even at school (I’m 46). Best thing I’ve done for awhile just wish I’d done it sooner. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️💗

Playing with our our 15 year old Cocker Spaniel, she is deaf and blind enough to walk into things. She decided to end the game, picked up her stick and headed home, I ran after her, gained for a 100 yards then petered out. Luckily there was no traffic and she made it to the church for water. I realized how unfit I was and so started the couch to 5 k. W4 R1 today ....hopefully

Crittermad profile image

Menopausal now, long term under active thyroid and gaining weight much more readily than I used to! Can feel my bones disintegrating so need to do some weight bearing exercise! Hopefully will help with the weight and boost my mood and keep me cardio fit for scuba and skiing 😀

Great question.

I’m doing it because I have a relative currently having a bit of a difficult time but who was considering training for a 5k to perk herself up. Other members of the family, including my sister and her children, my husb and both my children wanted to run with her and I simply couldn’t be left out. Amazing what you can make yourself do for someone you love which you simply wouldn’t do just for yourself, isn’t it?

We’re aiming for one of the Fountains Abbey 5ks.

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