Disneyland 10K – Not the 10K I Wanted, but Still Fun!


When I arrived for the Disneyland 10K, I was determined to treat this run as a training run. I knew that I wouldn’t be seeing a 10K PR, like I had hoped for when I signed up. But, I did have a time goal that would have been respectable. I treated the Disneyland 5K as a fun race. Time was irrelevant to me. This race was different. As I waited in the starting corrals, I kept telling myself that this was a training run with benefits.

When I arrived, I saw my friends AJ and Ivie and had fun chatting a bit with them. Once in the corrals, I had a great conversation with a few people who were running their first 10K’s and one person who was determined to run the Boston Marathon as a charity runner at some point in her life. We talked about how hard it is to qualify for Boston and some of our marathon experiences. I love being with my runner peeps!

There aren’t many pics from the start of this race because I intended to treat it as a training run. When I started the race, the plan was to run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds for mile 1. Then, switch to a run 30 seconds, walk 60 seconds the rest of the way. If at the mile 5 marker, I was at 1:02:30 or quicker, I would possibly switch again to a run 45 seconds, walk 45 seconds and see if a PR was going to happen.

Another thing I want to mention before getting into the race itself…At the Disneyland 5K, I had trouble getting the screen on my watch to light up so I could see when to run and when to walk. In training, all I had to do was touch the screen and it would light up. Things worked really well in training. Not so much during the Disneyland 5K. So, my plan was to use both my Garmin watch and the Nike Plus app until I could read the watch alone. It seemed like a good idea. However, it didn’t workout so well. The Nike Plus App I had on my phone had changed and I didn’t notice until I was in my corral. I tried to get it started when I was crossing the starting line, but it didn’t go. My watch went fine.

I started the race not knowing exactly how long I had run for. I ran up until the point where we had turned to go backstage at DCA the day before. It was more than the 30 seconds I had planned. However, without any timing device at my clear view, I thought this would be a good way to go and get clear of some of the crowd. Then, I could take a walk break and try to get the Nike Plus App working. I was able to do that. However, it got working at a rather odd point. I made the decision to just use the time on the Nike Plus App until I could read my watch. Once I got the Nike App going, I started running my intervals. Run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds. After a couple run intervals, I settled down a little. We came to the mile 1 marker at a little different spot from the year before. In 2015, the sign appeared before we turned up into the Anaheim Convention Center. This time, it was a little bit up into that turn. It was a good spot for it. My time at the end of mile 1 was 12:06! I felt pretty good about this time. It was right on point with my training runs.

The bummer was that I wasn’t feeling the switch to a 60 second walk break. So, I broke the plan and kept the 90 second walk breaks going in mile 2. This is the last mile outside of the park. I knew right where the mile 2 marker was going to be. We ran through the Anaheim Convention Center outside all the way up to Harbor Blvd. The run 30, walk 90 was feeling pretty good. I was feeling strong. However, I could see at the quarter-mile checks I was falling a little behind. Although, I didn’t know exactly where I was during the mile because I was using the app, the quarter-mile splits were not in my favor. As we ran down Harbor Blvd., I knew I needed to switch to the 60 second walk break as soon as I got to the mile 2 marker (which is what I did). I finished mile 2 in 12:57 for a cumulative time of 25:03. There goes the PR hopes.

Mile 3 began the part of the course that would be new this year. It started out in familiar territory. We made our way backstage at DCA and entered at the same place we had entered during the 5K…the back side of Cars Land. I was really good at resisting the urge for a photo. I told myself that I already took a photo here the day before. Keep moving. The route took us to It’s A Bug’s Land and up and back past Cars Land again. As we approached Paradise Bay, I saw a really short line for Mr. and Mrs. Incredible…


What can I say? I caved. My time wasn’t looking great anyways. Also, the short wait (around 5 minutes) was just too tempting. So, I caved. Did it hurt my overall time? Yep. Even though I knew the PR attempt was officially over with this picture, I still hoped I’d keep the race respectable and hit the real time goals I expected. After the photo, I tried to get back into the run/walk pattern of 30/60 as we made our way around the Paradise Pier area. By this point, I was able to see my watch. So, I switched off the Nike Plus App and made some adjustments to get back in step with where my run intervals should have occurred. This involved a few longer run intervals. But, I got there. The Mile 3 marker was in a different place than I was used to on this course. I was used to seeing this marker right by Soarin’ Over California. This time, it came earlier. I finished mile 3 in 13:58 for a cumulative time of 39:01. This was more than a minute per mile slower than I wanted. However, I just kept trucking.

When I crossed the 5K mat, I was a little bummed with my time. But, I kept going. Run 30 seconds, walk 60 seconds. Since I wasn’t stopping for pics, I was pleased with how well I was keeping to these intervals. The downside is that I often was finding myself running slower than I would have wanted because I couldn’t pass the slower runners. Walls of run/walkers can be frustrating. I mean, I knew they were running (for them). It’s just that it was slow for me.

We made our way up the Condor Flats, past the Carthay Circle Restaurant and down Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood Land. As we passed the Art of Animation Building, I saw Judy Hopps from Zootopia. The line was longer than the Mr. Incredibles line. However, I was still shooting for a time of 1:20:00 or faster. So, I kept running. Given my finish time, I now regret not getting in that line. I mean, if I was going to end with a slow time, this would have been a really cool picture to get. Oh well.

As we passed the Tower of Terror Hotel, I was tempted to stop for a pic. Nope. We headed backstage at DCA and onward to the tunnel that connects backstage DCA with backstage Disneyland. My time check was getting frustrating.


The mile 4 marker was at the other end of the tunnel. Again, it was different from previous years. My time for mile 4 was 13:09 for a cumulative time of 52:10. This is where my race started to turn from a training run to a fun run. I still had some hope of beating 1:20:00. But, my focus was cracking.

Mile 5 was almost entirely backstage. It was really disappointing. Another disappointment? The lack of running space. In mile 5, my frustration with slower runners was growing. I tried so hard to make up ground. But the walls of runners who were slower than me kept slowing me down. I finished mile 5 in 13:50 for a cumulative time of 1:06:00. By the time I got to the mile 5 marker, I did the math in my head. A 1:20:00 was extremely unlikely. If I was on a true training run, I could have finished in that time. But, the walls of walkers/slower runners had destroyed my confidence that I could do it at this race. By the mile 5 marker, I was done with racing the race. I made the decision to have fun with the remaining 1.2 miles. After all, I was running through Disneyland. So, I didn’t want this race to leave a bad taste in my mouth. So, mile 6 was run when I wanted to and walk the rest.


As we made our way back onstage at Disneyland, there was Donald on his ship! I should have stopped for a selfie. However, I was still making that decision to let go of any time goals here. So, I just grabbed a quick pic instead.


On a walk break, I did grab this selfie in Toontown!


I ran down under the train tracks to leave Toontown and up the other side. It’s A Small World isn’t as cool in the non-Holiday’s version. But, since I was going to have fun, a selfie was a must.


In Tomorrowland, I ran into a couple of First Order Troopers. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have gotten in line as there was no one to take a picture of you. So, I wasted a minute or two before realizing I could have just gone for the selfie all along. Oh well. More wasted time.


Since I was running as Buzz, I couldn’t resist the urge to get a selfie by the Buzz Lightyear Astro-Blasters.


As we made our way back to Fantasyland, I realized I was terribly late for a great finish time. So, why not have some fun along the way!


As we made our way through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I wondered if the Disney PhotoPass Photographers would get a picture of me running with the castle in the background. This is what I got. The dude in blue, put his hands up right as we got to the PhotoPass Photographer. Needless to say, I did not purchase this pic.


On the way around the hub, Pooh and Piglet were on the double-decker car that takes guests up and down Main Street U.S.A. So, I had to stop for a quick pic. One thing you may have noticed in this report is the lack of places with a Disney Cast Member to take a picture of you with the various characters on the course. This was something I kind of liked about the 10K. There were more characters on the course and shorter lines.


At the other end of Main Street U.S.A. Minnie Mouse was at the Train Station. This is the best of the 3 or 4 selfies I took. From there, we exited Disneyland and made our way through Downtown Disney. This part of the course is fun because there are a lot of people out to cheer us on. There are also folks who have already finished the 10K and are trying to get back to their hotels and/or theme parks. Either way, it makes for a fun finish. I decided to get back to my regular intervals through Downtown Disney. It felt good to get back to them! Even with that, the 6th mile took nearly 16 minutes.

Once I passed the mile 6 marker, I had one final walk break. Before getting to that mile marker, I decided that I’d run the final tenth of a mile (just past the ESPN Zone). Normally, I don’t run this far out to the finish. However, I felt like I had it in me and I did! As I made my way to the finish line, I saw Genie on the left side. So, I headed over and gave him a high-five. Did PhotoPass capture this awesome moment? Nope.


This is what they got. I have 4 pictures of me stopping my watch. Zero pictures of me actually crossing the finish line. This is why I didn’t purchase any PhotoPass pics for the Disneyland 10K.


It wasn’t the race I had wanted it to be. However, I still had major fun with the race!


So, here are the splits according to my Garmin. My official finish time was 1:26:01.


I’ve got to admit that I was a little bummed with my time for the first hour or so after the race. As I thought about it over breakfast at the Earl of Sandwich, I realized a few things…

  1. If I hadn’t stopped at for the picture with Mr. Incredible and the First Order Trooper, I could have easily shaved at least 6 minutes off my finish time. So, this finish time wasn’t as bad as it looks.
  2. I need to get more aggressive when I run the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. I need to be okay with saying “excuse me” or “on your right/left” to get through walls of walkers and/or slower runners. This was super frustrating to me during this race. It’s not entirely the fault of those who created those slow walls of people. Many of the times I got to those walls, it was of people who were running. They were merely slower than I am when I run.
  3. At the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, I need to commit to a plan for the race and never give up on that plan until I get to the finish line. I don’t want to miss a time goal because I broke the plan. Both the Star Wars 10K and the Disneyland 10K this year saw me break my plan and it cost me. With Avengers, I need to be okay with skipping character photos and other photos in the parks. I’m giving myself permission to stop for 6 selfies in the race (which I’ll talk about closer to race day).
  4. Races through theme parks will slow your running pace down from training.

Even bad races have the opportunity to be huge learning experiences. If I get that half marathon PR at Avengers, like I want to, my failure at the Disneyland 10K will be the reason why. By not getting a 10K PR, or even hitting my goal time, I feel even more motivated to chase down that half marathon PR at Avengers.

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Posted in Disneyland Half Marathon, Uncategorized

A Tale of Two Runs in Week 9 of Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Training

Some weeks just kind of get away from you. This week, I missed one mid-week training run. It happened Tuesday. Life just got in the way and training didn’t happen. Thus is the life of an amateur runner. We have a life outside of the sport of running. We have full time jobs. We have families. So, sometimes, a training run gets missed due to circumstances outside of our control. As for the two runs I did get in? They were pretty different…


Since I missed Tuesday’s run, I made sure to get out on Wednesday. The plan was to run Wednesday and then again on Thursday. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. But, the Wednesday run did happen. Since I had such a slow Disneyland 10K, I had hoped to bounce back this week. On Wednesday, I did! Read more ›

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Posted in Adoption, running workouts, The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, Weekly Recap

Having Fun at the Disneyland 5K


So, one week ago, I had the pleasure of running in the Disneyland 5K for the very first time. The plan going into the weekend was to have fun with this race. Then, race the 10K the next day. I was up at the awful hour of 2:30am. Since I live close enough to drive to the races at Disneyland, it’s become what I do. I leave my place around 3:30am and arrive with plenty of time to spare. I arrived at the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure around 4:15am, got my stuff ready and headed out to the corrals. It was kind of cool to think that I only had to run 3.1 miles on this day! Read more ›

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Posted in Disneyland, Disneyland Half Marathon, Uncategorized

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo


Every runDisney race weekend starts with a health & fitness expo. This was my first time going to an expo as a dad. Since I wasn’t running the half marathon this year, I wasn’t as concerned with getting all the merchandise. So, I took my time getting to the expo and was totally prepared to leave without buying anything. It was kind of nice to not be rushing to the expo this time around. I arrived around noon. As you can see, there are plenty of signs directing you to where the expo is located. For those that have never been to a runDisney race weekend at the Disneyland Resort, the health and fitness expo is held at the Disneyland Hotel in their convention area. It’s right near Goofy’s Kitchen. Read more ›

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Posted in Disneyland Half Marathon, Run Events, Uncategorized

Week 8 of Avengers Half Marathon Training is Also Disneyland Half Marathon Week


So, week 8 of my Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Training Cycle is also the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. To say this was a different sort of training week would be a huge understatement. Although, this wasn’t the week I had hoped for when it got put on the calendar. Let’s take a brief look at the week that was. I’ll go into more details about the Disneyland 5K and Disneyland 10K races I finished this week later with a full recap. For this post, I’ll just touch on a few points about each race.


Before the races happened, I still had mid-week training runs of 4 miles to complete. Unfortunately, I had a really bad sinus attack on Tuesday that put me out of commission. It was so bad that I had to call out sick from work. Wednesday, I was feeling better and made sure to get out and make my 4 mile training run. I wasn’t 100 percent for this run. Add to that, the goals I had for the Disneyland 10K at week’s end, I decided to just get the miles in and not worry a lot about my finish time. I went with a run 30, walk 90 seconds for the entire run.

Mile 1 got off to a respectable start. I stop my watch whenever I get to a red traffic light. I do so to keep my evaluation of my training runs consistent. After all, if I ran 4 miles in 48 minutes one day and 50 minutes the next. The difference in time could just be that I had to stop longer at traffic lights on the second day than the first. I might have stopped 3 minutes longer and ended up with a better run. However, if I keep the watch moving, I’d not know that. The reason I say that I got off to a respectable start is because what my watch said about my average pace at the first two traffic lights. I was under a 12 minute pace in mile 1. I slowed a little in the last quarter-mile of mile 1 to finish at 12:21. This isn’t a horrible start…I’ve started slower. However, it wasn’t a fast start either. Going into mile 2, I felt alright with my time.

Since mile 2 is either flat or going downhill, I’m always fascinated with my time for this mile. It doesn’t bode well for me if I’m not faster this mile than in mile 1. As it turned out, I was faster in mile 2. But, not by very much. I finished mile 2 in 12:17. With a cumulative time of 24:28, my expectations for mile 3 turned into a try to be consistent. As mile 3 went along, I could see that I was slowing down. I felt the tiredness setting in. Each quarter-mile, I could see myself getting farther and farther behind that 12 minute per mile pace I really want. I finished mile 3 in 12:53. That was disheartening. I knew I was slowing down, but expected better.

With a cumulative time of 37:31 at the end of mile 3, all I wanted was just to finish out this run and move on. The only good thing about this run was that I was going to finish it. So, even though I wasn’t 100 percent at the start of the run, I was going to finish and take the loss. These are the hard miles to run. The miles where you know you aren’t going to end up with a good finish time. I like to think that these are the miles that teach you the most. On this night, I learned what I can do when I feel crummy at the start of a run. I can finish all 4 miles. I can even finish them when I have no hope of a great finish time.


This is how it ended. One of my worst 4 miles training runs in quite some time. But, I finished it nonetheless.


Thursday was Disneyland Half Marathon Expo Day! Nothing will help you get over a bad run like a runDisney race weekend. Especially, going to the Expo. There’s so much positiveness at the Expo. So much…dream big dreams and you’re a winner just for making it to the start line. Anything seems possible.


I’ll recap the Expo better in another post. For today, I want to mention that I got to talk with Jeff Galloway at the expo. With the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon on my mind, I wanted to ask him for advice regarding how to prevent blisters. Jeff told me about a company called 2 Toms which sells a product that helps prevent blisters. If you’ve followed my blog long enough, you know that both the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon and 2015 Chicago Marathon were ones that I saw my finish time marred by blisters in the last few miles of each race. In the Los Angeles Marathon, it was right at the 23 mile marker. At the Chicago Marathon, it was in mile 22. I still believe that I would have set a new Marathon PR at Chicago if not for those blisters popping. Anyways, since I do want to set a new PR at the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon, I know I need to make sure that I don’t have that blister problem again. Jeff also stressed how important it is to have a training run of 26 miles before the marathon. So, that 26 mile training run I have on my calendar will be very important.


Speaking of the 2017 Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon…on Thursday, I registered for the race! So, I’m officially registered to run!


Friday morning, I was up before the chickens to head off to run in the Disneyland 5K! I haven’t run in a runDisney 5K race since the 2013 Neverland 5K. So, I was really excited about running in a race that was only 3.1 miles long! In the corrals, it was really cool to talk with folks who were running their first race and/or first 5K. It was a great reminder of how far I’ve come. I still remember how nervous I was at the 2012 Neverland 5K and how running for 3.1 miles can be so intimidating at first. Now days, 3.1 miles is something I don’t worry about finishing. I only worry about my finishing time. That said, I think it’s awesome to listen to these first timers and be able to encourage them.


This race was all about having fun. I’ll give a proper recap in a later post. However, I had tons of fun with this race. One thing that was kind of cool about the race is that I got to start towards the front of my corral (corral C). I started off running all the way until we turned into the backstage area of DCA. Since I was towards the front, I didn’t experience any kind of course crowding. Which was why I ran so far to begin with. Then, I remembered that I wasn’t running this race for time. So, I’d probably be better going to some sort of intervals until I got “on stage” at a park. What frustrated me about this race, though, was that I couldn’t get the back light on my new Garmin Vivofit Active watch to come on. . So, it was hard to keep track of my time.


My overall impression of the Disneyland 5K is totally positive. I loved running in this race! I did run more than I would have thought before the race. However, there was no consistent run/walk interval going for this race. I loved how much time we spent inside the theme parks! I also loved how many characters were out for photos! The photo above is with Kenai and Koda from Brother Bear. I did skip a few characters on the course. That was mostly because I was going through the battle of running for time and not running for time. I finished with a time of 51:24. As I got into mile 3 of the race, I realized that I was going to finish slower than I had finished 4 miles just two days before. Oh what a difference of running for fun can be!


By the way…check out that medal! When runDisney first released the pics of the race medals (and the fact that, beginning with the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, they were going to be giving out real medals for the 5K races), I wasn’t overly impressed with this medal. It took some reading to figure out what the medal’s design was. Up close, I loved this medal. If you took off the ribbon that goes around our neck, you’ll notice that the medal is in the shape of a jug…perfect for the Country Bears theme to the race!


I hung out at Disney California Adventure after the race and even got to see the new Frozen show at the Hyperion Theater. It’s a fantastic show…even if it’s a bit long. I was told later that the show is an hour long. My show had a technical problem that delayed the show by around 10 minutes. If you have the opportunity to see the show…GO! Some of the technical aspects of this show are simply stunning.


On Saturday, I was back to Disneyland for the Disneyland 10K race. This was the race I had targeted in my training plan as a test race to see how far I’ve come and still need to go. When I put my training schedule together, I had this race as a potential goal race, with PR potential. I wasn’t entirely sure that I would be able to PR this race. So, it wasn’t as much a goal to PR the race as I want to PR the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in November. My training had shown me I would need something really special to PR this race. So, heading into the race, I didn’t expect to hit the PR. Still, I had a reasonable goal of finishing in 1:17:00 – 1:20:00.


I will give a proper recap later. For now, I’ll just say that this race wasn’t a PR. Miles 1 and 2 were alright. However, I saw a short looking line for a picture with Mr. Incredible and couldn’t resist. I was in line for around 5 minutes (not bad by runDisney standards). My time had already started to get away from me by this point. I didn’t completely stick to the plan of run 30, walk 90 for mile 1 and then switch to a 60 second walk from miles 2 through the end. Part of the reason for this is that I couldn’t count on my watch to show me my time. Another part was how I decided to compensate. I decided that I would use the Nike Plus App on my phone until the sun came out enough to read my watch. Well, I couldn’t get the Nike app to work at first. By the time I started it, I wasn’t entirely sure where I was exactly. Even with that, though, I crossed he 5K mark at 40:42. So, a 1:20:00 10K wasn’t out of the question.

As the miles went by, I started to grow frustrated with lines of slow runners/walkers extending 5 or 6 people across the road. I can’t fault the people that were running slower than me. They were running. However, with no way to pass, my run pace slowed each time. So, there were run intervals I’d do at a slower than training tempo. I really need to get more aggressive with politely asking to pass. By the end of mile 5, I saw my 1:20:00 goal leaving me. So, I decided to just have fun in the last mile.


I finished in 1:26:01. Before commenting too much on this finish time, I really want to reflect on the race. However, I was initially bummed out about this time.


However, after hanging out at Disneyland…and visiting Tigger…my mood was raised by realizing that if I skipped the photo op with Mr. Incredible and some First Order Storm Troopers, I would have easily taken 6 – 7 minutes off my finish time. That alone, would have placed me within my realistic time goal. So, it’s not all bad. The race could have been better. But, it could have been worse. I do want to take some time to think more about this race to see what I can learn from it to help me better prepare to race the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.


In addition to hanging out at Disneyland after the Disneyland 10K, I attended the We Run Social meet up at the Disneyland Hotel. We had quite the turnout! I even won a box of KT Tape! It was tons of fun to chat it up with some of the other We Run Social peeps!


Even though I was pretty tired at the end of the meetup, I headed back to Disneyland because I wanted to see the Paint the Night Parade one last time. Disney has said that the parade would return for some limited time magic. However, you never know when that will happen or how often.


I loved watching the parade one last time!


Considering where I was for the parade, I had to stay for one last viewing of the Disneyland Forever Fireworks show. It did not disappoint.


After the fireworks, it was time to head home. This would be the last time I’ll see all the Disneyland 60th Celebration stuff around the parks. So, it was a little bittersweet kind of day.


I will miss seeing Sleeping Beauty’s Castle all decked out in 60th gear.


Just like that, my 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend was over.


On Sunday, there was no exercise. However, I let Colton check out the new medals. He was busy trying to figure out what they were in this picture.


After running the past 3 Disneyland Half Marathons, it was really strange to see my race weekend end without running a half marathon. Last year, I got to post this picture of my new bling. This year, I got to watch several friends posting their pictures from the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon. I think there’s a future post reflecting on that. For now, I’m glad I took this year off. I need to know it’s okay to run at Disney and not run a half marathon. This past weekend was certainly easier than my previous Disneyland Half Marathon Weekends.

Anyways, this was not a week that was about any particular race. While I didn’t hit the 10K PR, I originally envisioned to end the week, and I missed one training run, I leave the week ready to take on week 9 of Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon training. As the week progresses, I’m going to be evaluating where I’m at right now in relation to my goal of setting a half marathon PR at the Avengers Half. Adjustments are certainly coming. What’s most important for me this week, though, is realizing that I haven’t reached the end of any training plan. I’m entering week 9 or 17. So, it’s time to keep on moving forward. This coming weekend, I’ve got 11 miles to run. Bring on those double digits!

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Posted in Disneyland, Disneyland Half Marathon, The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, Weekly Recap
My Next Race
Aquarium of the Pacific 5KOctober 8th, 2016
14 days to go.
My Next runDisney Race
Avengers Super Heroes Half MarathonNovember 13th, 2016
50 days to go.
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Official PR’s
5K - 32:46 - 2012 Pasadena 5K

10K - 1:15:42 - 2013 Pasadena 10K

Half Marathon - 2:43:25 - 2013 Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

Full Marathon - 6:21:46 - 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon
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