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Year of first Tri race?

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  1. Hello all, I haven't been active on this forum for a little while now but always love reading race reports so thought I'd share my experiences from Sunday's IM: IRONMAN AUSTRALIA – RACE REPORT – Scott Connolly (M30-34 AG) This was my 7th iron distance race now, and my first triathlon since doing IMOZ in 2015 so I was low in racing exposure over the past 12-months. My goals for the race, which I kept relatively quiet, were to come between 5th and 10th in my age group and PB in my overall placing for the race (my best result was 70th overall in IMOZ in 2014). I knew coming into this race I was the fittest I had been in all 3 disciplines, I had done a fair bit of work leading in. For those that use Training Peaks and love numbers my peak CTL for the lead up was 134 and I was probably training 17-18 hours for 3 consecutive weeks and then a ~10-hour recovery week. I had pretty much done this cycle for 7-months leading into Port. I had done 7 race simulations in the final 10-weeks which involved a 30-minute easy run, 3.25 hour race effort on the Wahoo Kickr and then a 2-hour run at race HR (which I was doing as 13 x 2km loops around my house in the Southern Highlands). 5-weeks out from race day I did a big week which was ~27.5 hours of training. I knew I had some decent fitness coming into the event and was confident on a good performance but needed to execute well. A very vague outline of my training would look like: Monday – Squad swim (3-4km) (AM), easy run (30-60 minutes) (PM) Tuesday – 2-hour bike + 30-minute T-run Wednesday – Squad swim (3-4km) (AM), easy to moderate run (30-60 minutes) (PM) Thursday – 1.5-2 hour bike + 20-minute T-run Friday – Swim (3km) (AM), easy run (30-45 minutes) (PM) Saturday – Race simulation Sunday – 2-2.5 hours easy bike ride I drove up to Port Macquarie on the Friday and after some stressful valve replacements and bike repairs at 2 different bike shops everything seemed in order. Did a few little sessions on the Saturday before the race to make sure everything was good to go. I had a few mates doing the IM and half IM so there were plenty of familiar faces around town. I had been following a LCHF diet up until about 6-weeks before the race before gradually increasing my CHO intake. Thankfully, after a few IMs I feel like I’ve got my pre-race and during race nutrition dialled in so it’s one less stressful thing to worry about. Race day: We were only about 1.5km from transition so Azza and I strolled down to the race, fiddled with the bikes for 10-minutes and then headed back to the hotel for the normal pre-race toilet stops (plural, yes). We headed back down about 40-minutes before kick off, popped the wetsuits on and then it was time to go. I hadn’t paid too much attention to the weather forecast leading into the race, I figured it would be fine, maybe a bit warm but nothing outstanding. The relentless rain, wet roads, muddy run and wind gusts weren’t in my thinking – some ignorance on my behalf admittedly! SWIM (3.8km): I was confident after doing this race the past couple of years that I would swim in the ball park of 1-hour. I’m not a great swimmer and my pool times show that I shouldn’t be swimming near an hour but I think I’ve improved my drafting and general open water swim skills the past few years that one hour was attainable this time around. A rolling start in IM is something I absolutely love, I must say. After moving from feet to feet in the opening ~800m, I found someone who was swimming bang on the pace I wanted so I quite literally drafted him for the remaining 3km of the swim. I was checking every now and again to see how his navigation was, and all seemed good so I tucked in and just used him the whole way around. The swim was very uneventful which I think is a perfect way to start the day. Water was calm and conditions favourable. Swim time was 1:00:42 (240th Overall and 32nd in the age group – a PB swim time and placing for me. T1: I was dirty that I didn’t get anyone to help me off with my wettie but thankfully it came off without a drama and it was time to go. Time: 2:55 (100th OA and 12th AG). BIKE (180km): Having done the course a couple of times I knew what to expect. There is a lot of rolling getting out of Port Macquarie, some flat open sections, some more rollers and then Matthew Flinders drive – I had changed my cassette purely for this race because I was scared shitless of this hill after really struggling to get up last year. I moved from a 21 to a 25 which made it quite simple in the end thankfully! My plan for this race was to ride between 210-220 watts for most the race and let it rise to 250-270W during the climbs and aiming to finish with a Normalised Power of ~220 watts. I had put a disc cover on my rear wheel for this race and the day before popped some tape over the flaps – within the first 10km I saw this tape wrapped around my rear hub and I was worried it would somehow find its way into my chain so I pulled over and took it off and popped it in my pocket (no littering of course). Everything felt like it was going along fine coming out of town. I had been listening to Fitter Radio podcast on the drive up and the reiteration of being conservative in the first 40km so I had that ringing through my head but after 20km, bang! My right tri bar had come loose and bent inwards! So basically my right arm rest was now resting on my drop bar and the extension had turned in so it was now touching the left shifter, a most uncomfortable position but not unbearable. It was annoying because I like plenty of room on my right side so my hip doesn’t ‘jam up’ when I ride. At about 30km a nice little group went by me at a decent clip so I tacked on the back and rode legally but I found the constant changes of positions and surging was making me stressed and I was already worried about my bike so I made the decision to relax, let them go and try to ride conservative. I realised after about half an hour of riding I had forgotten to clear my ride from the day before so I cleared everything and started again (in hindsight I really shouldn’t have done this for race analysis purposes, but anyway). There was a nice tailwind going along the main stretch and everyone was moving at a decent pace but the rain started really coming down the further north we went. It was relentless the whole bike ride, I was saturated and even though the air temperature wasn’t too cold, I was soon becoming a little cold from being wet. Port is definitely not known for its smooth roads and the wet conditions just amplified this! I went around the first lap in ~2:40 which was a little slower than I hoped, I was hoping to bike 5:15-5:20 to put me in a decent position and I knew the second lap was going to be slower and it sure was! After the turn around I checked my power and had averaged 200w (218NP now looking at the data but I didn’t have this available to me on race day). I felt just as I thought I should at this point in time, quite good. The second lap I was completely isolated the whole ride, anyone I went past seemed to be people who had over-biked the first lap so they weren’t any use to me unfortunately as they were slowing and I wanted to try and pick up the effort. The straight bit, which had been a tailwind out now turned to be a headwind! For the same power I was now going 4-5km/hour slower this time around and the rain was hitting me straight in the face making visibility difficult. I started getting some cross-wind gusts which with the disc cover and a broken aero bar made me crap myself and ride up on the drop bars for a while. By ~120km my shoulder was getting really sore from being in this stupid position and my back was the same. The last 60km just felt slow the whole time, my effort felt OK, I didn’t go through any significant bad patch, my nutrition was bang on but it was just an uncomfortable slog. Got back up Matthew Flinders drive and back into town feeling disappointed with my ride time and knew it had put me out of contention for a top-5 AG finish unfortunately but there was still a marathon to go and my legs felt quite comfortable and ready to get running. Total bike time 5:32:02 – From the data I have my NP was 216 (average 201), weight 74-75kg, HR was playing up for the majority of the ride but seemed to be 130-137bpm when it did come good. (170th OA and 21st in the AG) by this point in the race I was 164th overall and 22nd in the age group. T2 – Here is where I peaked for the day! Time 1:01 (4th fastest overall and 1st fastest in the age group!) RUN (42.2km): I knew I was IM run fit, I was confident I could run 3:10 (ish). I had a plan that revolved around HR but this didn’t even come into contention, it was all about how fast I could run without a) my right hamstring cramping and my quads not falling to pieces. I had set my Garmin to alert me every 2km and I knew I would have to start at about 4:20-4:25/km pace and then let things drift if I was to run a decent time. First 4km I averaged 4:12/km – too fast! So I slowed myself down and over the next ~15km I was running in the vicinity of 4:20-4:25 per km. I checked my time at 14km and I was “on pace” for a 3:04-3:05 marathon (I knew I was going to slow down so I didn’t think I was actually going to run this fast mind you.). The first 2 laps flew by without too many problems. I had heard Tim Berkel being interviewed on Fitter Radio and he mentioned in South Africa he went through a bad patch at 22km so this stuck in my mind also so wanted to make sure I stayed mentally focused around this point in time and kept chugging along. Even though I was slowing down between the 20-30km, I was still moving OK at about 4:35-4:40/km pace. I could feel when I was moving into bad points and I would consciously make the effort to force 3-4 cups of cola down at aid stations, even though I really didn’t want to but I knew I needed the calories. By this point, the rain had stopped but the ground was wet, and there is some grass which you have to run over which was now just thick mud and no fun at all. By 34km I had had enough and would have liked to curl up and have a nap. Even though there’s “only” 8km to go, it is still a LONG time when you are in a world of hurt as any IM athlete will tell you. I kept chugging along for the next 4km at 4:50-4:55/km pace and then tried to ‘pick it up’ for the last 4km (who was I kidding – all I did was not slow down but managed to run ~4:45/km for the final few kms). The last 10km of an IM is about minimising lost time, many people lose a lot of time in this period if they haven’t paced the day well. I remember seeing the 42km sign and instead of thinking ‘great, I’m almost finished’, my thought was ‘shit, still another 200m!!’ – I was stoked to get into the finisher chute. I enjoyed my jog up, taking in the atmosphere, got to the finish line and then hit the deck, got wheel-chaired into medical to deal with this really bad dizziness I was experiencing. After about half an hour in medical I was good to get some food into me and enjoy the recovery ice cream and milo. Run time: 3:13:17 (16th fastest run overall and 2nd fastest in my age group) End result: 9:49:58 – 53rd overall and 10th in 30-34 AG. We had 4 allocated slots and it only rolled down to 5th. Positives of the race performance: · An overall IM PB on this course. An overall swim and run PB. · My swim performance and execution was exactly the way I envisioned it happening. · I ran close to my potential in an IM, I still think I have another 3-5 minute improvement in me. · I ticked all the boxes I could in this lead up to the event, I was very processed driven and wasn’t overly outcome-focused although I did have goals I wanted to achieve as mentioned above. · My nutrition seems dialled in which is great! Negatives of the race performance: · The bike was a big disappointment. I haven’t had an in-depth look at the data but I expected to be riding ~5:15-5:20 for the power. I am going to see Alex Price again before my next race to get my position tweaked and get some more advice from him. I need to work on my biking in general if I want to press for a top-5 finish in my age group. If I can take 10-15 minutes off my bike leg I will be in the mix. · I did a hard treadmill session 10-days before the race and twinged my right hamstring. I shouldn’t have done this particular session on the treadmill and I should have dialled it back a fraction in hindsight. · Initially feeling quite despondent after the race. That’s why I think these race reports are so valuable as it’s made me realise there were so many positives from Sunday’s race and I’m proud of what I’ve done with it. I know I’ll learn from this race and I still feel hungry and motivated to continue to train and race as opposed to last year where I knew I needed to step away from the sport to recharge my batteries and let my motivation return. What’s next? I’ll be back to Port in 2017, that’s almost a definite but I am actually going to try and do another IRONMAN before the year is out hopefully, but will run it by the girlfriend and coach before committing to anything.
  2. Well, it's time to talk about the Very Famous Trannie Beer Mile at IMOz in 6 weeks time. It will be the usual mile length run with an official TriAust TO there again, to adjudicate all protests, accusations of cheating, outside assistance (SunnyGirl in particular for turning an individual's attempt into a team event, by drinking half her friend's can), the antics of PIS members, Fashions off the Field, Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii with or without hair and beard, etc etc etc. I have already been in negotiations with Big Chris from the Timing Guys, who did the timing last year and posted all the results on Trannies afterwards and we have decided to have an on-line entry format to avoid disappointment on the day. I will make contact with our 'Secret Sponsor' and see if their company is happy to sponsor this fine sporting event again? Last year we had the use of the finish ramp, but we may not have it this year, but I will endeavour to see what we can have around the finish line, if anything is still standing? Again, I am looking for some assistance for a video and still photographer for the day......Mooze, Matt and family, are you interested in maintaining that role? Also, is Mrs Chat happy to do the judging of the "Fashions off the Field"? (Will Pete from Tassie turn up in his dressing gown again and scoop the line-up?) Is anyone happy to take over my caretaking role as MC, as FatDog (woops, I mean RatDog) has gone even further West than Western Australia and won't be in attendance, even in Oz on the day? I'm happy to continue, but realise that there are more senior members of the Trannie community, who would love this position....just PM me with your credentials, and I will give you my bank acc number. So, at this stage 3:00pm for a 3:30 on Monday 5 May 2014 for IMOz finishes only and start at the usual location, the finish line just outside the pub and right next to the Grafton Kid's famous Chunder Palm. You had better watch out for this Grafton contingent of Tex and the 2 young guns from Grafton, as they will have IMOz Legend status when they turn 27, the way they're going and even get into Hawaii on a Legacy slot in a couple of year's time with the extra races that they're doing. More info on entering to come from Big Chris and updates from me as they come in....Good Luck and welcome back to the fold all those returning IMOz Trannie Beer Mile competitors. IM Cairns Beer Mile only 11 weeks away at same location on the Esplenade near the "No Alcohol Consumption" sign. (It's OK, the consumption takes place on a jetty overhang over the mudflats and the run is on the Esplenade, Your Honour!)
  3. tri_hard

    Port Mac 2016?

    G'day all, Anyone have any inside knowledge on whether Ironman Australia 2016 is in the pipeline? I know there was some rumors flying around that this year (2015) may be the last. Cheers
  4. Hey folks. I'm doing both Port 70.3 and IM. Looking for accommodation for both. Thinking something cheap and easy for the 70.3 - cheap hotel/pub/caravan park close to the race site if possible. For the IM, maybe something a bit bigger/nicer? Thoughts?
  5. I have a spare room with 2 single beds in it for the duration of IM week from Wednesday 30 April until Wednesday 7 May. It is a 2 bedroom apartment located on the corner of Stewart St and Grant St, on the bike and run course. So, a great loaction for friends and spectators. It is at the top of the hill, on the bend opposite the bike special needs and penalty box area. It is located on the second floor with views over the river and out to sea. It is fully furnished and you only need to bring your own linen, towels, etc. Cost is $200 per person for the week, with some discount if we have some overnighters stay over the weekend. There is a large lounge room, verandah, laundry and bathroom. Suitable applicants would be great at cooking, non snorers, tidy, and come in after me on the IM day/night. It's a pretty swish apartment and I have stayed there for the last 4 years. PM me if you're interested.
  6. JonoB

    Busso vs Port Mac

    I'm wondering if anyone has done both Busso and Port Mac and is able to please share some insight? Specifically, what I am trying to determine is, all things being equal (i.e. weather, getting pacing/nutrition right etc), how much faster is Busso as a course than Port Mac? I did a 9:48 at IMOZ this year (59/5:16/3:26 + transitions). What I'm trying to work out is, with the same fitness in the 3 disciplines, can I hope that the faster course at Busso would give me a full 20 mins (and get me to a ~9:28)? I'm aware there are countless variables - but just trying to get a baseline. Also, is it right to just expect the speed benefit to be on the bike, or is there any benefit to be had on the run as well?
  7. Prep To do it justice, my prep for Ironman Australia can be split into 2 parts. PRE-screwing my head up and POST-screwing my head up PRE-screwing my head up my prep was going awesome. One day in particular I road 150km in <5 hours (including plenty of stuffing around and a 40km TT completed in around the 1hr mark) followed by 6x1km run intervals – all running uphill in around 4:45-5:00 pace with a 300m downhill recovery. I was supposed to build up 1 more level to do 2 sessions bigger than that just before starting my taper but ... ...then I came a gutser on my bike, landed on my face and promptly forgot my own name. Almost an entire week of concussion headaches and dizziness ensued. That was 4 weeks pre-IM and what followed by 3.5 weeks of self doubt, stress, anxiety, a new bike, I couldn’t ride over 2 hours without getting tension headaches ... Arriving in Port Macquarie 24 hours. 24 hours is how long it took for Chrissy (The Penthouse Pet), Kam, TGL, Royds, Ratdog and others to help me shed most of the stress I had been carrying. And there has been lots lately for many reasons that some know and other’s don’t. Billionaires of the world pay attention – life is not worth the living without people like these, the fairies (OMG the Fairies), the sub 8-hour pros, the 17-hour champions, iFOZ as ‘the Stig’ – damn it’s a long list. I have really come to love this sport. Of course, the devilish delight of tim tams liberally coated in Nutella didn’t hurt. Carb loading at it’s best ... if not most effective. I rode a chunk of the course with Ratdog and completed 2 swims and a short run before it was race day. I didn’t really know what was going to happen given the distractions but I put on a brave face, tried to convince myself the goal I had originally set as an aspiration was going to become reality and stepped into my wetsuit. Race day Swim – 3.8km in 1:11:76 (goal was 1:05:00 - 1:10:00) I don’t know what happened here. I have been working hard in my swimming and it is the only discipline that I am really coached for (despite attending some bike squad sessions with the Red Dogs). However improvements are very slow. I was aiming for a sub 70 minute split but kept dreaming of 65 minutes so that became my official goal – although I didn’t hit either. Not much else to say on this one – the swim was as violent as ever and (as usual) I was just eager for it to finish so I could get on my bike. T1 – 3:52 (goal was 3:00) BEWARE PEOPLE IN T1, 2 EDDIES MAKE A WHIRLPOOL! One of Chrissie’s besties was in the change tent (his name was Eddie) and helped me get my arm warmers on and suit sorted so I could hit the road. Bike – 180km in 5:48:37 (goal was 5:30:00 – 5:40:00) So the original goal was to do the bike in 5:30. My plan was to work (but not too hard) to hit this goal in the first lap then decide about the second. With any luck I would only lose 10 minutes in that second lap and at least hit 5:40. On my first lap I went over the hills on the way out, just spinning up the legs to get warmed up and the blood distributed to the right areas and found myself hitting the first flat area where I could really sit in a groove. To hit my goal I needed 11km every 20 minutes and I hit the first 20 minute mark with only 8km covered due to those hills. So I tucked into aero and started gaining time back bit by bit. I hit 89km by 2:45:00 which was 1km off halfway at half my goal time so I was very happy. (hello Mum and Dad – first time I had seen ‘my biggest fans’ since starting) However long before then (maybe about 45km?) the back tension from my crash had returned and I had to be very careful about going into the aero position despite being loaded up on pain killers. I ended up sitting up allot, rolling my shoulders, etc – but otherwise feeling real good. I lost some more time heading back out over the hills and hit the 3hr (or 3:20 mark – I remember the thought but am vague on the time) about 4km down on where I needed to be. However I refused to try and earn it back. So I kept the cadence high and worked to maintain as close to the 11km per 20 minutes as I could. Coming up to MFD for the second time (suddenly nervous I wouldn’t get up!) I was still sitting about 5km down on my goal but MFD and the following hills really cost me as I refused to push through them hard so I ended up hitting around 171km at the 5:30 mark (9km down) and finished the bike in 5:48:37. SHOWTIME on MFD – note to those watching, I couldn’t replicate Rattie’s butt whipping display but I was chanting ‘CLOWNBOY’ and hammering those last few metres. Really enjoyed the crowds at MFD. T2 – 1:38 (goal was 2:00 ... YAY) The run – 42.2km in 4:36:32 Ironman is all about the run and with 2 prior IM finishes; I have never gotten to start the run well. With bike issues at Cairns (2011) and weather\stomach issues at NZ (2011) I was in my best condition pre-run at Port. Which makes the following the more disappointing but I like how I handled it. THE PLAN - I have been running heaps and was waited for the run all day. It has become the discipline I most enjoy training. My plan was to aim for 5min kms which have felt very easy all through training and if the other legs had gone well – I would have up to 4 hours to finish and still hit 10:30. If not, surely 11hours would be easy. The bike had already cost me 10:30 as I was starting the run at 7:05 but sub 11 hours was eminently doable. So I headed out targeting a relaxed 5min pace – meaning I wouldn’t worry unless my pace dropped past 5:30. THE REALITY I hit 11km in 58 minutes (approx – watch is not handy) and was quite happy. However coming up to 22km (which needed to be done by 2 hours) I was really struggling to hold 5:30 pace. I did hit 22km at about 2 hours (either right on or at 2:01 sort of thing) but I was in allot of leg and back pain. Plus my stomach had stopped processing food so I had decided to give up on water and food until it got better. So I decided 11 hours wasn’t going to happen and a weird thing happened. I have been considering it almost since the race finished. The fight just went out of me. Normally I would get aggressive, angry, disappointed – I would raise my intensity and try to run harder to still hit 11 hours, fail at that, get the whole mental milkshake thing going on, achieve a poor time then ruin my whole trip. It is typical Edward that I get obsessive and either do something brilliant or piss poor. [*]On race day I decided to find my zen and I started jogging\walking, laughing with the vollies, chattering with the fairies, I picked back up to 5min pace to help Kristy from PIS try to get her Kona spot as she was really suffering on her last lap ... I just enjoyed it and soaked up the atmosphere. [*]I would be lying if I didn’t say I am still disappointed with my finish time. If I had tried harder for that last 20km I could have hit 11:30 but I couldn’t have enjoyed the finish anymore than I did. A lesson learnt - it is very important to note that a good finish time in Melbourne will require finding a middle ground – maybe it would have been easy if I hadn’t been exhausted with stress for the month prior to the race. I am not advocating this complete relax for the finish as a true warrior who wants to do his best will still fight to the last minute and I didn’t. This was just what I needed to do in Port. The Finish – 11:42:07 This was a 56 minute PB over my other races but it didn’t reflect the training and dedication I have put in during the 11 months since Cairns. So I have put together a list. Swimming - I have scheduled a 2 month minimum regime of intensive swimming. A fortnightly review with a stroke correction coach (video, everything) and will be maintaining 5 sessions per week through to Melbourne. Good enough is no longer good enough. Cycling – I am taking a leaf out of iFOZ’s book and will be maintaining my long rides with intensity efforts throughout the year. I trained bike all year leading up to Port but didn’t worry about going over 100km until a few months out when I started building. There is no reason why Noosa training can’t include 20km warm up then multiple 40km high intensity TT. Cycling – I am also restructuring my shorter distance sessions to be harder and higher intensity. Running – I need more toughness in my running. I do a 55km trail run every January but only for fun, I have never trained for it. This year I will. My last year gave me speed and plenty of it (I should crack 90 min at Gold Coast half this year) but I could do with more toughness\aggression\mental ‘game’ when the pain comes on. So while I am leaving this part until after Noosa (when my build begins), I plan on learning how to suffer. Beer Mile Most important of all - during the follow up 'Beer Mile' that my group organises - I won a fantastic running shirt for achieving the fastest lap. However at Melbourne I hope to work with the team to ensure we brand it Trannies a bit more. Team PIS and TOSS kind of took it over with their competitiveness and I think there is no reason why this cannot be stronger marked as our contribution. Heading Home and the days since Of course, time rolls on and I am already looking forward to my next race. The blues hit me hard this time around and Wednesday night saw me searching for ways to make it to Ironman Cairns in 3 weeks. However it isn’t happening and therefore I have to wait until Melbourne next march to compete at this distance again. I am looking forward to my training and to achieving a new PB at the Gold Coast half marathon on 1st July. Then the distance goes back up again with a marathon in August, etc, etc. Am I the only person who ever sits back and wonders what life was like before this roller coaster entered my life?
  8. Came home from IMOZ on the weekend, seemend to have acquired someone's bike computer. So if you raced Port Mac, and lost yours - contact me to identify it. I emailed the organisers, but haven't got a reply from them yet. Leapin' Leroy PS. Thanks everyone for all your cheering!
  9. So with (less than) two weeks to go, I'm starting to think about how I want to eat for the next two weeks. I'm starting tapering as of today and worried that bulk may be a factor to consider with a lower 'fat burning' work load. My taper this week includes less hours and slight increase in intensity. This will surely have an effect. It got me thinking though - if you are what you eat....what is everyone eating in the lead up to IMOZ? Extra protein now and then carb focus next week? Vice versa? Don't worry about nutrition until the night before? Personally I'm planning on the following: This week - High protein - high fibre - low starch - low 'gas-producing foods' Next week - high carb - low/no fibre - low starch - low 'gas-producing foods' This is by no means based on any research or hard science - just my gut feeling (pun intended). Also based on how I know I handle certain food types with endurance sessions. Anyone have any good recipe ideas for the above two weeks?
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