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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old September 15th, 2014, 10:02 PM   #21
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My 1st NSIM was a great experience as well. Even with the modest head wind I came very close to my goal time. Already registered for next year.
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Old September 15th, 2014, 11:16 PM   #22
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Has anybody been posting photos of this year's race? It sure looked like there were some pros along the course and I hope they got some good shots. The light was great for photography.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 01:08 PM   #23
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Inlineskatempls.com has a nice gallery, including some pics of the sunrise at the Half marathon start, which was unreal.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 02:06 PM   #24
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The results of the race of super confusing. It looks like certain sections of the results show timing based on when the gun went off, and certain sections of the results show timing based on when the athlete crossed the start line.

Maybe I'm wrong, and the results are just jacked up for some other reason.

For example, http://www.mtecresults.com/race/lead...Marathon-Elite shows Justin Stelly finishing in a time of 1:07:08. That puts him in the lead breakaway, which he wasn't. He won the field sprint, probably around 1:07:39 (31 seconds off where they have his time. That's a bigger error than just using gun time vs time he crossed the start line. I highly doubt he started 30 seconds after everyone).

It also shows Christian Keelser in front of Sean O'brien. I'm 99% sure Sean was ahead. It has me listed as the 11th finisher, when I was actually in a photo finish with Sean O'brien for either 5th or 6th. It also shows me getting second in the 30-39 age group, rather than first like I actually got.

They called up the wrong ladies to the podium for the Pro Masters women. That's a bummer. Again, it sounds like an issue with the timing company, and not the organizers.

In 2014, my name wasn't even in the results, even thought I had a top 10 overall finish.

The results look correct here:
http://www.mtecresults.com/race/show...athon-Pro_Rank

It's not a huge deal. I had a great time. It was a fun race. It was my 10th year competing at NSIM, and my best overall finish yet. I will still come back year after year and support the event. I think it might be time for NSIM to find a new timing company, but overall it was a great event. I love the expo. I love seeing all of the kids races. I love the scenery. I love the course. There's a lot to love about this race, but I wish the timing company would get their act together.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 04:44 PM   #25
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For various reasons I had to register the day before the race. They advertise registration as being available through that time so I didn't think it was a problem. I've known many people that have done it over the years without issue. When I was in the same situation I figured I'd be alright. I paid top dollar to be in that race and was told I could come back and get a chip later when they were supposed to have more. I went back around 6:30 or 7 pm and there were no chips for me or the woman who won Pro Master Ladies and didn't get accurately recognized for her placement. When she was trying to get it straightened out one of the event staff said "It's no big deal". Unbelievable! It's a competitive event so placement is a "big deal".

They also showed a significant chunk my video that I edited of the 2013 Elite Open at the awards ceremony. This video has only been made available on youtube and not for download anywhere. They were not streaming it from youtube. I've never licensed a public performance right to anyone. I don't mind who watches it on youtube or how many times but I do take issue with having my copyright violated with downloading and public performance on no less than 15 screens simultaneously. Some people might think it's cool that they would show it but they didn't ask for permission and they should. I would have to ask if I was going to use their logo.

Overall my personal experience with friends and other skaters was the best ever. All of my travel companions organized ourselves very well and did everything to make sure we would have the best experience possible. It's very disappointing that the organizers screwed up on the chips, the results, having enough t-shirts and their general attitude about the product they are selling which is the event.

Don't even get me started on the awards ceremony. The PA they have is suitable for something about 1/4th the size of that room. They have no lighting to speak of and it's practically impossible to get a decent podium photo. It wouldn't cost very much for adequate lighting and a better PA system. I would guess they are getting a freebie and it shows.

Is there something uniquely difficult about getting results at a skating event compared to running or cycling or do we just complain more?
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Old September 16th, 2014, 05:22 PM   #26
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Donnybrook did you wear a cam this year and have a video to share??
Yes I did, but it didn't catch the last 10 minutes of my race, the battery died. I may be due for a new camera, or battery. I am considering a smaller camera, but it all depends on finances. The end of the footage isn't a bad thing, after 11 miles, the footage gets really boring because I spend a lot of time skating by myself. That said, I am working on getting the gauges taken care of for the video. I hope to post the whole thing with all the editing complete by the end of the week.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 05:30 PM   #27
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They also showed a significant chunk my video that I edited of the 2013 Elite Open at the awards ceremony. This video has only been made available on youtube and not for download anywhere. They were not streaming it from youtube. I've never licensed a public performance right to anyone. I don't mind who watches it on youtube or how many times but I do take issue with having my copyright violated with downloading and public performance on no less than 15 screens simultaneously. Some people might think it's cool that they would show it but they didn't ask for permission and they should. I would have to ask if I was going to use their logo.
Check your license settings on YouTube. Sometimes, the licensing is set to be unrestricted by default. If you had this adequately licensed on YouTube, then it may be worth a C&D to NSIM, requiring they request permission in the future. Downloading video from YouTube is not hard. I know you go through a lot to edit those videos, especially that one from 2013, so you should get credit for the work and not have it distributed against your wishes. My measly videos usually require 10-20 hours of work plus at least that in rendering time (more an issue I have with DashWare and my workflow).

Did you shoot video of this year? What Wave? I didn't see you in A1, I was hoping to say hello.

I saw a lot of cams out there this year, and a lot of different models, which is great to see, also. I do feel like very little of that footage makes it on the internet, though, which is too bad.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 06:02 PM   #28
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Overall my personal experience with friends and other skaters was the best ever. All of my travel companions organized ourselves very well and did everything to make sure we would have the best experience possible.
I think your walk over to "Wisconsin" was what really made the trip memorable

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Is there something uniquely difficult about getting results at a skating event compared to running or cycling or do we just complain more?
I've never done a bike race with chip timing. In cycling, the majority of people don't care about their time. They only care about what order everyone came across the line. There are cameras now that automatically detect your race number as you pass through the line, and rank everyone. For close finishes, they use a high speed camera that is aimed at a width of one pixel of the finish line, and rebuilds a still photo so you can see all of the placements. I think Duluth uses the same time of high speed camera, because I've seen some of the photo finish photos before, but not from this year. If a cyclist wants to know their exact time, speed, distance, etc they just look at their bike computer

With running (or triathlons, which end with a run anyway) I don't think they have to be as exact. You don't really have 20 or 30 people coming through the finish line within a second of each other, at 30+ mph. In skating that happens all the time.

Plus, in running I think the majority of the people care more about their chip time than the gun time. In big marathons, it might take 10 minutes to get from where they lined up to get to the start line where the marathon actually starts. I think a lot of chip companies do that by default, even in skating races. While the majority of rec skaters might prefer that, it really messes up the elite fields.

If you go by chip time, a guy could hang back on the starting line for 30 seconds, and then chase back into the lead group. He could potentially get last place in the field sprint, but still have the fastest time of the course because his chip time is 30 seconds less than the rest of the field. Elite races should go by gun time (the time the official starts the race) and not chip time (the time each athlete crosses the start line).

Unlike in cycling, I think in skating the majority of athletes really do care about their time, so accuracy is important. One of the big things skaters pay for is accurate timing. Other than a great course, I would say accurate timing is one of the next biggest things the average skater would like to have at an event.

So I think skating is slightly more complicated than running or tri; however, chip timing companies charge a crazy amount of money. They need to be able to figure out a skating race goes. The kids triathlon I put on in OKC gets about 50 athletes. Chip timing cost us over $1000. I can just imagine what a big marathon has to pay.

Bike races keep costs down by not having having chips. Most of my races cost about $35 or $40 on the bike. I paid $155 at the expo for Duluth, I didn't get a shirt, an allen wrench, a free beer coupon (I don't drink, so no big deal), and I had to beg to get a chip -- even still, my results on the website aren't accurate.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 07:55 PM   #29
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I stuck my GoPro in my pants!

I had the thing fully charged when I left home the night before... but after about 5 seconds of filming before the starting gun it just went dead. Not wanting to to have the dead weight and air drag on my head, and not having anywhere else to put it, I stuck it up my skinsuit leg.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 11:08 PM   #30
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Check your license settings on YouTube. Sometimes, the licensing is set to be unrestricted by default. If you had this adequately licensed on YouTube, then it may be worth a C&D to NSIM, requiring they request permission in the future. Downloading video from YouTube is not hard.
Even though downloading is not easy it's still an infringement and against the EULA. Downloading from youtube and then using that in a public performance without permission is doubly wrong. That is my point. If they streamed it from youtube I would be totally unable to say anything but they clearly were using a non-streaming version and the quality was degraded.

All of that cheapens my work on what is arguably the most technically advanced helmet cam video in the sport. I had to invent all sorts of techniques and workflows to handle the synchronized stabilization, video layers, text overlay, GPS integration as well as studying the race from front to back to learn who was doing what and when. Holy cow, it was challenging!

All they had to do was ask. I didn't renegade their race, I paid my $155.

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Did you shoot video of this year? What Wave? I didn't see you in A1, I was hoping to say hello.

I saw a lot of cams out there this year, and a lot of different models, which is great to see, also. I do feel like very little of that footage makes it on the internet, though, which is too bad.
I did wear a camera. I made a risky gamble to skate Pro Master 40-49 this year. The forecast was for a strong headwind like last year but I didn't find out til I'd already registered on Friday that the hourly forecast put the wind at mid afternoon. Most of the morning was light and variable from the SW.

I broke my hip in February and while my recovery has been pretty fantastic I am still kind of gun shy about having an someone fall down in front of me. There are a lot of skaters in wave A and plenty of chaos and inexperience to go along with it. Knowing that getting dropped was a high likelihood in Pro Master 40-49 I still felt safer with a smaller group of more experienced skaters.

The very short story is that I got dropped after mile 8. I was on the edge of the road after one of those snaky, post attack weaving session and my right skate pushed into some soft, black gravel that look just like pavement (except lacking all those things that make pavement skatable) and the next attack came. It really bogged me down and getting back on was hard on my already sore legs. As soon as I got back on it picked up and as I tried to accelerate I just couldn't make any more speed at the moment and that's when the guy in front of me handed over the anchor and waved good bye. It was a beautiful but painful, long skate back to Duluth.

I didn't have a cam in the pro open this year but I had one in the Pro Women's Race. I think that will help their end of the event. They don't have too many ladies and I think it will make it look more attractive to some of those that can slug it out in Wave A.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 11:30 PM   #31
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I think your walk over to "Wisconsin" was what really made the trip memorable
Walking to Wisconsin and some serious dance moves in the lobby are pretty high up on the list of memories


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I've never done a bike race with chip timing. In cycling, the majority of people don't care about their time. They only care about what order everyone came across the line. There are cameras now that automatically detect your race number as you pass through the line, and rank everyone. For close finishes, they use a high speed camera that is aimed at a width of one pixel of the finish line, and rebuilds a still photo so you can see all of the placements. I think Duluth uses the same time of high speed camera, because I've seen some of the photo finish photos before, but not from this year. If a cyclist wants to know their exact time, speed, distance, etc they just look at their bike computer

With running (or triathlons, which end with a run anyway) I don't think they have to be as exact. You don't really have 20 or 30 people coming through the finish line within a second of each other, at 30+ mph. In skating that happens all the time.

Plus, in running I think the majority of the people care more about their chip time than the gun time. In big marathons, it might take 10 minutes to get from where they lined up to get to the start line where the marathon actually starts. I think a lot of chip companies do that by default, even in skating races. While the majority of rec skaters might prefer that, it really messes up the elite fields.

If you go by chip time, a guy could hang back on the starting line for 30 seconds, and then chase back into the lead group. He could potentially get last place in the field sprint, but still have the fastest time of the course because his chip time is 30 seconds less than the rest of the field. Elite races should go by gun time (the time the official starts the race) and not chip time (the time each athlete crosses the start line).

Unlike in cycling, I think in skating the majority of athletes really do care about their time, so accuracy is important. One of the big things skaters pay for is accurate timing. Other than a great course, I would say accurate timing is one of the next biggest things the average skater would like to have at an event.

So I think skating is slightly more complicated than running or tri; however, chip timing companies charge a crazy amount of money. They need to be able to figure out a skating race goes. The kids triathlon I put on in OKC gets about 50 athletes. Chip timing cost us over $1000. I can just imagine what a big marathon has to pay.

Bike races keep costs down by not having having chips. Most of my races cost about $35 or $40 on the bike. I paid $155 at the expo for Duluth, I didn't get a shirt, an allen wrench, a free beer coupon (I don't drink, so no big deal), and I had to beg to get a chip -- even still, my results on the website aren't accurate.
Thanks for the explanation. I didn't know timing chips were so costly. Seems ripe for an alternative. I'd say that for the first time I wasn't too concerned with my actual time. I've done this race enough to know how much weather influences the times. 2012 made the course seem deceptively easy where 2013 nearly brought everyone to their knees.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 12:06 AM   #32
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My 2 cents worth:

After reading the comments about the Duluth race it's disconcerting to here about the chip timers and other issues. If they can't get the timing and finish placement correct then they need to take the word "Race" out of their event.

I race to know my time and placement. I want it to be accurate. I will pay extra if it means getting it accurate. If I wanted to do a skate without timed results or placement I would do a fun skate around my neighborhood drinking a beer. We all train hard year around to race each other. Some race the clock, others race each other, and others race for the podium, bottom line we are racers.

If the event coordinators don't understand this then they need to make sure to post a disclaimer that their event may or may not be time timed and placement isn't accurate or to be expected.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 12:57 AM   #33
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Thanks for the explanation. I didn't know timing chips were so costly. Seems ripe for an alternative. I'd say that for the first time I wasn't too concerned with my actual time. I've done this race enough to know how much weather influences the times. 2012 made the course seem deceptively easy where 2013 nearly brought everyone to their knees.
The chips themselves aren't terribly costly (especially if they are turned in and reused). It's the equipment that reads them. And if you need the equipment that reads them well enough to distinguish placement it more expensive. And if you need to distinguish people within tenths of a second the reading equipment and chips get more costly.

Actually, if you just wanted timing chips the reading equipment could probably be had for $10,000 (all the equipment, new, to own), and the chips could be replaced with disposable RFID tags which are less than $5 apiece. However, that wouldn't be good enough for placement. Perhaps there could be a camera system for placement (gun to line) and chip system for times +- 10 seconds (line to line). That might be good enough for most people, although the race results would have to come with a disclaimer about why people's placement don't match perfectly with their times.

I did a 5K run/walk with some family members this past summer. They had RFID in the bibs. I crossed the line right with my uncle, but the official time had me 6 seconds behind. That's good enough for me to get an idea of my pace if I cared at all, but not good enough to determine placement.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 04:58 AM   #34
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The chips themselves aren't terribly costly (especially if they are turned in and reused). It's the equipment that reads them. And if you need the equipment that reads them well enough to distinguish placement it more expensive. And if you need to distinguish people within tenths of a second the reading equipment and chips get more costly.

Actually, if you just wanted timing chips the reading equipment could probably be had for $10,000 (all the equipment, new, to own), and the chips could be replaced with disposable RFID tags which are less than $5 apiece. However, that wouldn't be good enough for placement. Perhaps there could be a camera system for placement (gun to line) and chip system for times +- 10 seconds (line to line). That might be good enough for most people, although the race results would have to come with a disclaimer about why people's placement don't match perfectly with their times.

I did a 5K run/walk with some family members this past summer. They had RFID in the bibs. I crossed the line right with my uncle, but the official time had me 6 seconds behind. That's good enough for me to get an idea of my pace if I cared at all, but not good enough to determine placement.
You sure RFID can't be more accurate than that? I thought they used RFID at Rollin on the River this year (timing "chips" were built into the bib numbers and were disposable).
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Old September 17th, 2014, 11:00 AM   #35
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You sure RFID can't be more accurate than that? I thought they used RFID at Rollin on the River this year (timing "chips" were built into the bib numbers and were disposable).
They can be, but it costs more. There is a difference in the power output, and thus range, between passive and active RFID. There are different sensitivities of readers. In order to track exactly where a tag is, it needs to be picked up by 3 readers (actually, if you assume the chip is the same height off the ground and everyone approaches the finish line from the same side you can cut that to 2, but I'm guessing they use 3 since there are common algorithms for that). Figure that the timing company has a couple backups, and if they are using passive RFID, which is more likely for the disposable tags (the reusable chips are likely active), they need a couple more readers because the detection range is smaller. Whereas to just get an accurate time you only need a reader every 10 meters or so at the finish line, and they don't have to be as high end.

I suspect the reason my time in the 5K was off was the presence of my uncle. RF does not transmit through water. The human body is a lot of water. So if you use passive RFID and you get a person between you and the reader the range is greatly diminished. So you either need more readers or a way to limit the number of people crossing the line at once.

My point is if you only want pretty good timing you probably only need 2 cheaper readers for a decently wide finish line. If you want placement you probably need 3-5 more expensive ones at the minimum for a narrow finish line.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 03:35 PM   #36
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Even though downloading is not easy it's still an infringement and against the EULA. Downloading from youtube and then using that in a public performance without permission is doubly wrong. That is my point. If they streamed it from youtube I would be totally unable to say anything but they clearly were using a non-streaming version and the quality was degraded.

All of that cheapens my work on what is arguably the most technically advanced helmet cam video in the sport. I had to invent all sorts of techniques and workflows to handle the synchronized stabilization, video layers, text overlay, GPS integration as well as studying the race from front to back to learn who was doing what and when. Holy cow, it was challenging!

All they had to do was ask. I didn't renegade their race, I paid my $155.
This would be worth a cease and desist letter to the NSIM board, honestly. That video is amazing. I totally understand how much work went into putting it together. It would have taken me a year, and wouldn't be anywhere close to the quality. In your C&D you may consider offering them a dedicated copy and license for their use at the events, or just tell them that if they do it again you will consider your legal options. Either way, I totally agree that it isn't right for them to do that.

Congrats on the pro race. I have been following your recovery after the broken hip and was interested to see how things came out for you. Glad it was a good experience.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 04:20 PM   #37
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From what I have gathered, the folks at NSIM had very little to do with the timing problems. Think about it from their point of view. You pay $10k to a timing company to take care of the chips, timing, results, and everything associated with it. They have the technical expertise (supposedly) and the equipment, and the people who know how to use it.

Then they show up on race weekend without the agreed upon number of chips, royally botch the results and timing, and frustrate the hell out of many participants.

The race organizers were livid on Sunday morning. They plan this stuff all year, and then one of the major pieces of the puzzle (which they have very limited control over, if any) is a disaster.

Did the NSIM folks get everything right? Of course not. But I have a hard time pinning the timing problems on them.

Despite the weird timing issues, this was the most fun I've had at an NSIM race, or probably any race. It saddens me to hear talk of boycotting the race. I don't see how that helps anything, other than making the race less fun since even fewer participants will be there. Send them your feedback in a positive and constructive way, and look forward to next time
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Old September 17th, 2014, 05:19 PM   #38
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Despite the weird timing issues, this was the most fun I've had at an NSIM race, or probably any race. It saddens me to hear talk of boycotting the race. I don't see how that helps anything, other than making the race less fun since even fewer participants will be there. Send them your feedback in a positive and constructive way, and look forward to next time
I agree 100%. Boycotting the biggest event (by FAR the biggest event) only hurts the sport more.

I also agree that the major fault should be placed on the timing company; however, this wasn't the first year that mtec had poor results. NSIM staff will have to either find a new timing company (there are a lot to choose from) or have a hard conversation with somebody high up at mtec to figure out how to fix the problem for next year.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 08:57 PM   #39
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They also showed a significant chunk my video that I edited of the 2013 Elite Open at the awards ceremony.
I was wondering about this, while I was watching it at the ceremony. I don't get very excited about issues like this, but even I thought they should have given you and youtube attribution. What's more is that the rip they were showing was such poor quality.. I think it'd be great if they do this again, it was a good idea, but they really should get a master copy and of course, credit the creator/editor. I'll bet that if they just email out a request for "last year's helmet-cam footage" they'll get a half-dozen offers from people like you -- for free.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 10:08 PM   #40
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I have to do follow up email with scooter(race director).. list the issues, il forward them to them so they can work on them.

I agree with the timing company/placements... way sub-par
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