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Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all)
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**EDIT** Thanks for the questions. I've got some things to take care of this afternoon, but will post replies to your questions either this evening or on Weds morning when I have some time available.

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Team TBB & PBN ‘crew’ member, James Cunnama finished off an absolutely fantastic 2010 season with (3) 1st place finishes on American soil (Rev3 Full (8:20), Austin 70.3 (3:53) & Ironman Florida (8:15):



James has a nutrition plan which has worked well for him and as such, very few edits were made for his Ironman Florida strategy, vs what he did (2) months ago at Rev3. The primary difference was a slight decrease in the total fluid consumption at IMF, since conditions were considerably cooler. Below is an outline of what his strategy looked like, including a breakdown of his hourly intake. It’s important to keep in mind, I am NOT advocating that this is the optimal strategy for YOU as James came to this strategy through a lot of trial and error and as such, you may be more/less and this should only serve as a plan of what may work for you. James has endured stomach problems (cramping, etc.) when running since he was about 13yrs old, so it has been a long road of working out what he can/can't handle, before and during.

With all the athletes we work with (professional or amateur) there’s always a considerable amount of testing done to ensure the plan will work and that we can then replicate those positive results again and again, most importantly, on the day of the race. As such, you may notice some of the metrics for James are very high (such as his calories), & in this case, we follow our #1 nutrition rule:

'If it's not broken....don't fix it!'

James has run his last (2) IM marathons in 2:43 & a 1:12 1/2 marathon at the Austin 70.3 w/ zero stomach distress, so I'd say.....it's not broken!!

Follow James’ blog or on Twitter.

Ironman Florida Triathlon – November 6, 2010
Race Totals: 8:15:59
Swim:
51:45
Bike: 4:35:55 (24.36 mph)*
Run: 2:43:08 (6:13 per mile)
1st place professional male
*Includes flat which James estimates took approximately 4-5 minutes to address

Complete race results posted
here.

BREAKFAST/Pre-Race:
  • (2) Pop-tarts
  • (2) PowerBars

PRE-SWIM (Immediately Before Swim): One Red Bull Shot w/ water
SWIM TOTALS: 51:45 (16th o'all / 14th pro)

Bike Nutrition:
  • (1) Bottle With Calories (1460cal +/-):
    *(12) PowerBar Gels
    *(2) scoops Ironman Perform Powder - topped w/ water
  • Aerodrink:
    *(3) scoops Ironman Perform Powder
  • (2) PowerBars
  • Approximately (2) bottles of Ironman Perform (on course), which is added to the aero-bottle once the initial mixture is finished. In total, (2) bottles were added, but there was approx 10oz left in his aero-bottle at the end of the bike

Bike Nutrition Totals:
  • Calories: 2392 (526 per hour)
  • CHO: 562g
  • Sugar: 257g
  • Sodium: 4462mg (981 per hour)
  • Potassium: 537mg


Photo courtesy of TimothyJ

BIKE TOTALS: 4:35:55 - 24.36 mph

Run Nutrition:

Photo courtesy of TimothyJ

  • Red Bull/Ironman Perform Powder Bottle: Started the run with a 500ml bottle with 8oz of Red Bull + 1.5 scoops Ironman Perform Powder + water which was sipped over the first 10miles
  • (1) Liquid Shot Flask sipped three times through run
  • Special Needs: Contained another Red Bull/Ironman Perform Powder Bottle which was mixed identical as the bottle at the start of run.
  • On Course: Periodically had a mouthful of water (to keep mouth clean) & occasionally coke if desired.
Run Nutrition Totals:
  • Calories: 1030 (381 per hour)
  • CHO: 261g
  • Sugar: 188g
  • Sodium: 1440mg (533 per hour)
  • Potassium: 320mg
  • Caffeine: 206mg (76 per hour)

RUN TOTALS: 2:43:08 - 6:13 per mile

RACE TOTAL: 8:15:59


Post Race: James Cunnama, Scott Defilippis (12th place), Erika Csomer (2nd Place Female)

If you would like to schedule a 1/2 or Ironman specific Nutritional Evaluation, please e-mail Brian to set-up your appointment (Brian@PersonalBestNutrition.com).

---

Brian Shea
http://www.PersonalBestNutrition.com
1st Endurance, Bonk Breaker, CarboPro, etc...
SlowTwitch Discount: STWITCH
Last edited by: BrianPBN: Nov 30, 10 20:31
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, he takes in ALOT of calories. Is that correct, he took in a total of 823 g (1.8 lbs) of CHO between the bike and run? My stomach is hurting just reading that....


Fraser Bicycle | First Endurance

Check out my blog here | Twitter:@tmalis3
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Brian:

Did James have any fluid goals, particularly on the bike, such as 24oz/hr or...? 981mg of sodium per hour is close to what I'm at, but I back that up with a lot of fluids.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I can eat 21 plus a deep-fried turkey!"
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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He told me he ate "junk food" the night before the race. It was what he was craving.
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BeeHunter] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting that he took in much less sodium/hr during the run than on the bike. Is this intentional or does he just find extra sodium on the run unnecessary?

Nick Baldwin | @baldwin_nick | Facebook
Drag2Zero| ISPC Seychelles
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [Tom3] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Wow, he takes in ALOT of calories. Is that correct, he took in a total of 823 g (1.8 lbs) of CHO between the bike and run? My stomach is hurting just reading that....


Seriously! Close to 600 cals on the bike!

How big of a guy is he?

___________
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Ok,I'll ask these...

1) Is the 1460 calorie bottle gels with powder in water or am I misreading that?

2) How much water did he drink?

3) If #1 is not in a bottle creating some mixture, where the hell did he carry all of that nutrition while on the bike?


Bob



"If you have a dream, pursue it as hard as you can. The world needs more of that." - Jordan Rapp
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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am i reading it right that in one bottle he had 12 gels mixed with 2 scoops of powder? Was water added to that? Is that in the blue bottle on his down tube???
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for posting, very similar to what I do in terms of calories and methods. I take a gel every hour on top of my drink mixture which is cytomax and accelerade, but after reading this I see no reason not to just add the gels to my nutrition mixture, which would eliminate the need to carry them and fumble around with the wrappers. I do 2 X 800 calorie bottles though have one in special needs. His method is good because it takes away the risk of not getting your special needs but I don't think I could get my powder mixture that concentrated in one bottle, would have to switch to gels...

I set my watch to go off every 10 mins, sip from my mixture, then wash down with water. The watch is like my own little coach reminding me to drink. Does James follow a similar schedule or just drink when he feels like it. Plus it appears that he isn't drinking water, just sports drink. I find I have to have water after drinking my mixture since each sip is about a 50 calorie shot so washing down with sports drink is too much for me. Kind of like washing down a shot with a beer, ok for while... I also add salt tabs (succeed!) to my drink mixture as needed by the days weather.

Always good to hear what others are doing.

Congrats to James on a great race and season.

MC


http://www.mctriguy.blogspot.com
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Ok,I'll ask these...

1) Is the 1460 calorie bottle gels with powder in water or am I misreading that?

2) How much water did he drink?

3) If #1 is not in a bottle creating some mixture, where the hell did he carry all of that nutrition while on the bike?


Bob


x2 on how much just plain old water did he drink. thxs
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Brian, I need more chocolate mint Gu's!!!!
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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This is all well and good, but there's only one nutrition report that matters from IMFL..


Poopman's.
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [tim_sleepless] [ In reply to ]
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Ha!!!
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Holy crap, 12 gels (plus 2 scoops) in one bottle? Can I ask what flavor he used in order to make that palatable?

I ask because I used a similar concept training for a half, mixing about 600 calories of Hammer Gel with water in a frame-mounted aero bottle, with plain water or gatorade in a torpedo mount to hydrate and wash down that mixture. The HG was going down fine in training but I was getting a little tired of the flavor, so at the expo (famous last words, you can already see where this is going ...) I picked up six packs of green apple powerbar gel on a whim, about the same cals plus caffeine so it had to be even better, right? Tasted the gel beforehand to make sure it was as good as it sounded, seemed fine so proceeded on race morning to dump all six gels in my bottle. You know what they say, when in doubt try something new on race day ...

It was so sickly sweet I could barely choke it down, and that's from a self-professed sugar fiend. Washing down with gatorade didn't help, but I had little choice if I wished to avoid bonking. I metered it out as planned. But 12?? Damn. Obviously it worked for him in training, and taste is individual ... and in retrospect green apple wasn't exactly my wisest choice. But to everyone thinking about trying this and dumping 69 gels into one bottle, THEN maybe adding a scoop or two of drink powder, just make sure you're a lot smarter than I was and test it in training first. No doubt if you're already reading ST you would never make such a rookie mistake, so I'm just sayin' ...
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Red Bull rules.


Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for posting this information. What's James Cunnama's body weight?
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Hey Brian thanks for posting:
2 questions:
Why so much RedBull ?
What's your method for trying things out and knowing they'll work before the actual race?

easyendurance.wordpress.com
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Red Bull rules.


x2!!!
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [Tri@PUR] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Hey Brian thanks for posting:
2 questions:
Why so much RedBull ?
What's your method for trying things out and knowing they'll work before the actual race?

Cuz uh DUH! Redbull gives you wings!!!!

Thanks for the post! So no cheeseburgers? I never thought of putting my gel in the bottle!
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [AlexG] [ In reply to ]
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Poopman's nutrition was similar to James's but his flavor of choice was prune (prune ironman perform and prune shot blocks), that took him to the finish line like a bullet.
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [LJefe] [ In reply to ]
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GU has a "just plain" flavored gel......it should help to get a palatable mix
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Brian, Another great report, thanks for putting these together.
I am curious as well to what power gels he used and if any of them contained caffeine.
Did he drink any plain water on the bike at all or just the gels and perform?
Did he say what he did with the flat tire, 4-5 min I assume he had to take off the tubular and replace it.


Springy
Kingman, AZ

http://www.valdoracycles.com
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [Mr. Blonde] [ In reply to ]
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Great questions from everyone. Please see below responses & if there's anything else, let me know & I'll get back to you either this afternoon or on Thursday AM....

Mr. Blonde: Did James have any fluid goals, particularly on the bike, such as 24oz/hr or...? 981mg of sodium per hour is close to what I'm at, but I back that up with a lot of fluids.
  • It’s more revolved around hitting the caloric #’s & letting the hydration be dictated by the temperature/sweat rate. James’ total fluid consumption was approximately 2.6-2.8L & given the cool/cold temperatures for the majority of the bike (40-50F), his fluid loss was relatively low (probably in the vicinity of 600-700mL per hour). As such, his fluid intake was fairly close to loss & as such, from a hydration perspective, he was in good shape. If I knew nothing about the conditions & saw his fluid intake, I would without question, say it was too low for an IM. With that, I can’t recall the last time an IM had temps <50F for the majority of the race, so IMF was definitely an anomaly w/ regards to the temps.

The bigger concern (& this is something which is VERY individual) is the carbohydrate % which was extremely high (avg >20% CHO solution for the bike). Traditional wisdom would say that a CHO % over 10% can delay gastric emptying and over 20% is nearly unheard of, but it’s obviously a strategy that works/worked well for James. If the conditions were warmer, I suspect such a high CHO % would have caused problems, but….if conditions were warmer, he would have consumed more water & therefore the CHO % would have been less.

It’s important to note that although we’re always guided by what science says should work, the end result is often not what we implement. If you’ve read any of Rappstar’s nutritional reports (Example: Ironman Arizona), he’s also avg’ing well over a 10% CHO solution on the bike. He’s done this repeatedly in (2) back-to-back IM wins & as I mentioned above, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. For both James & Jordan, that CHO % shouldn’t work, but it does….VERY well. Many of my athletes have heard me say, ‘If you told me that every time you stand on your head for 10mins before a race, you PR. My suggestion would be to stand on your head for 10mins before EVERY race!’ If we find a system that is working & can be repeated (that’s important!), I don’t need some peer-reviewed study or a text book to prove to me it works.

Sesel: Interesting that he took in much less sodium/hr during the run than on the bike. Is this intentional or does he just find extra sodium on the run unnecessary?
  • When we look at the hourly intake, there is a dramatic drop in hourly sodium intake, but the sodium:calorie ratio is relatively similar for both the bike & run. On the bike, James was consuming (mg of sodium per calorie):

Bike: ~1.8mg of sodium per cal
Run: ~1.4mg of sodium per cal

Also remember, we’re looking at a day when marathon conditions were as close to ideal as you can get in an IM. As such, it’s one of the rare occasions that dehydration and fluid/electrolyte loss was less of a factor. If we took the same run strategy & he employed it on a day where temps were in the 90s, it probably wouldn’t have been as successful. I guess we’ll need to wait until next October to find out :)


Macho Grande:
1) Is the 1460 calorie bottle gels with powder in water or am I misreading that?

sdmike: x2 on how much just plain old water did he drink.
2) How much water did he drink?
  • Zero on the bike & I’d suspect, somewhere in the vicinity of 20-25oz on the run. I do know of a # of athletes who experience cramping issues when they overdo plain water (Rappstar is one of them & addressed the issue HERE).

Bufffan: am i reading it right that in one bottle he had 12 gels mixed with 2 scoops of powder? Was water added to that? Is that in the blue bottle on his down tube???
  • Yes, as noted above the gels & powder are in the blue bottle on his downtube, topped w/ water.


Tim_sleepless: This is all well and good, but there's only one nutrition report that matters from IMFL.. Poopman's.
  • Agreed. Given the fact that the ‘poop’ thread has well over 20,000 views (we have some freaking strange lurkers in our mix?!?)….maybe it would improve James’ ST street-cred if he sh#t himself? As for ‘poop-mans’ nutrition, I don’t have any 1st hand info, but from what I’ve heard….this was one of the title sponsors on his kit. Take that for what it’s worth….




LJefe: Holy crap, 12 gels (plus 2 scoops) in one bottle? Can I ask what flavor he used in order to make that palatable?
  • Palatable is always a relative term & when you’re talking about the PowerBar Gels, there’s also a lot of variation in consistency, depending on what flavor you choose (ie the vanilla flavor is MUCH less viscous than the chocolate). James uses the vanilla flavor as it’s relatively thin & also flavor neutral, so it blends well w/ the Perform Powder.


Tom Demerly: Red Bull rules.
  • No argument there J

Damon Henry: What's James Cunnama's body weight?
ShackmanTri: How big of a guy is he?
  • ~165LBS (75kg) & 6’ tall


Tri@PUR: 2 questions:
Why so much RedBull?
  • In the grand scheme of things, we’re really not looking at too much in that his total consumption of Red Bull was ~16oz. When that amount is spread out relatively evenly over a marathon, it’s not too much. If you’re referring to the amount of caffeine, we were still well under the 100mg per hour mark which is what I use as a cap. With that, as noted in the 1st question, an athlete may perform well on 0mg or 25mg or 50mg or 150mg of caffeine, but in this instance, w/ James being around 76mg /hr, I wouldn’t consider that high.


What's your method for trying things out and knowing they'll work before the actual race
?
  • When determining whether or not a nutritional plan will work, we’re basically trying to test specific products & hourly metrics over race specific time & intensity. What this basically means is we need to find a plan that not only works well over ‘x’ # of hours, but also at the intensity the athlete is going to race at. For example, if you’re going out for a super easy, 6-hour ride, you could probably have success on a few BigMacs without any GI distress. On the other end of the spectrum, you could also under-consume and still feel relatively good at the end of the ride. In either of these scenarios, it would be naďve to think that plan would work on race day.

Once we’ve defined what products/flavors an athlete likes, we then hone in on what hourly intakes they have success at….as noted, tested over distances & intensities which replicate their key race(s), preferably in similar conditions. In the weeks/months leading into that race, we’ll have a # of workouts to use as benchmarks regarding caloric/electrolyte/fluid/etc… intake & can then take those #’s & implement them in a race-day plan. So, during race week we’ll look at all those workouts & know that if we have an athlete that has success using X-calories, Y-sodium, etc… per hour, we then build out that plan around their projected race goals. In the example of IMF, we knew the conditions were going to be MUCH cooler than we expected, so for all the athletes we worked with, we knew they wouldn’t need to be as aggressive w/ fluid intake to have success.


Boilermaker_yv: GU has a "just plain" flavored gel......it should help to get a palatable mix
  • Although the plain GU flavor would work, I think GU is a little on the thick side to be used in this manner. If you’re going to employ a strategy like James, you’re going to want to look at one of the ‘thinner’ gels. The athletes that we work who are using this type of plan will usually lean towards the Vanilla PowerBar Gel, Liquid Shot or Accel Gel as they’re on the thinner side.


Springyut:
  • We hit on a few of your questions above. With regards to the others….

Did he say what he did with the flat tire, 4-5 min I assume he had to take off the tubular and replace it.
  • He was carrying a PitStop tire sealant which would have led to a quick fix, but it didn’t work. At that point he rode the flat to the next aid/neutral support station, picked up another tubular & made the change.

I hope this helps answer your questions, but if anything is unclear, please drop another post & I’ll try to address them over the next 24hrs.
---

Brian Shea
http://www.PersonalBestNutrition.com
1st Endurance, Bonk Breaker, CarboPro, etc...
SlowTwitch Discount: STWITCH
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Thansk very much for the info Brian!!!
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Re: Ironman Florida Nutrition Report - 8:15:59 (1st Place O'all) [bufffan] [ In reply to ]
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Very good of you to take the time to answer all the q's. Thanks Brian.

Nick Baldwin | @baldwin_nick | Facebook
Drag2Zero| ISPC Seychelles
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