Intermediate/advanced terrain walk at Fountainhead this Saturday



There's no time like the near future to make good on my promise that the terrain walk at Balls Bluff wouldn't be a one-off, so it's on again for this Saturday at Fountainhead. The same plan as at Balls Bluff but with much simpler logistics since registration/start/finish/parking will all be much, much closer together - assemble just before 1pm at the start and we'll walk around the brown course whilst I attempt to transmit, verbally and by demonstration, my accumulated orienteering wisdom. This will involve a fair bit of covering basics in addition to discussion of whatever advanced issues the brown course raises.  Questions about any and all aspects of orienteering will also be entertained.  Participation is recommended for orienteers who have only just begun to attempt orange courses, orienteers who routinely do advanced courses but feel like they don't know it all and would like to pick the brain of an orienteer with past if less so current pretensions to elite status, and everyone in between. Please email me (jon.torrance@...) before Saturday if you'd like to take part - up to ten people may join me, first responding, first served. If this ends up oversubscribed or Saturday isn't convenient for you, don't despair - I anticipate doing this again sometime in January or February and at least once thereafter this season.  Cheers.


Orienteering Weekend Approaching - Register Now

Greg Lennon

Our Fall Orienteering Weekend, with orienteering events taking place this Saturday, Nov. 3 and also Sunday, Nov. 4, is fast approaching! A few brief reminders:

  • If you are 18 or older, your name MUST be on the "Entry" list for Sunday's event on the Quantico Marine Base, and the sign-up deadline is tomorrow (11:59pm Tuesday Oct. 30). Even if you are only going to decide at the last minute whether to actually go, sign up now using our free online form so you'll at least have the option to orienteer on this fine terrain.
  • Course selection and payment will be at each event's registration area (Fountainhead/Saturday and MCBQ/Sunday). Full courses are available both days (beginner through advanced; white through blue).
  • Daylight Savings Time ends Saturday night, so make sure to set your clocks back an hour before Sunday's event!
More event details as well as driving directions are online for Saturday's event and for Sunday's event.

And for those planning ahead, pre-registration is now online (and mandatory, with payment) for next weekend's Great Falls Maryland event, taking place Sunday, Nov. 11. This event usually sells out, so register soon!

Interested in forming a team for "The Stockville" race over November 3/4th weekend

Mark Thomsen

Hi Everyone, 

 My name is Mark Thomsen and I've been orienteering for about 1.5 yrs. I'm at most of QOC events thru the year and regularly run the brown course, and finish in the middle of the pack, or higher. Except for this past weekend :( lol...

 That said, I'd like to try something new: a rogaine (e.g. The Stockville)! Turns out, one is coming up next month. Would anybody be interested in joining? We can have up to 4 ppl!

Susquehanna Stumble on Sunday/carpooling to same



Most of you have probably noticed on the web site that there is no QOC event this coming weekend because SVO's Susquehanna Stumble will be held on Sunday, at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, in the Michaux State Forest a little bit NW of Gettysburg, PA.  SVO will be offering white, yellow, and orange recreational courses (sign up on the spot, fees as usual) plus the Short Stumble (~7km, $18) and the Long Stumble (~14km, $25).  Mass start for both Stumbles will be at 11am. The deadline to pre-register (by email to whitmore@...)) for the Short and Long Stumble is Thursday; registration on site on Sunday will incur an additional $5 fee.

Since the drive to the venue is meaningfully longer for most of us in and around DC than getting to a typical QOC venue, it seems worth organizing some carpooling.  If you plan on attending and would like to participate in a carpool, please email me no later than Friday evening your name, vehicle status (need a seat/possessing a vehicle with # seats available/happy to drive your own vehicle or ride in another vehicle), and your address and/or a brief description of where you could conveniently pick people up and/or could conveniently join up with a carpool in someone else's vehicle.  I'll do my best to make sensible carpooling arrangements for everyone who contacts me. Cheers and I'll hope to see a strong QOC contingent at the Stumble start line on Sunday morning.


Intermediate/advanced training tomorrow afternoon at Balls Bluff


It's been a while (more than a season, I think) since I last led a terrain walk but I've decided it's a practiced worth reviving - tomorrow starting at 1pm at Balls Bluff I'll lead a terrain walk around (most if not all of) the brown course with up to 10 individuals joining me (if anyone at all chooses to join me given the short notice).  This is intended as training for people ranging from those just starting to do orange courses up to regular runners of advanced courses less experienced than myself who might benefit from a chance to pick my brain. We'll talk about orienteering technique fundamentals, route choice considerations, and whatever other technical issues in orienteering the course may elicit.  Based on past experience, this is likely to take until ~3pm - we'll cut the course short as needed to make sure we don't overshoot the course closure time by very much, if at all.

If you'd like to take part, please email me to say so before noon tomorrow so I'll know to expect you and assemble at the Edwards Landing pavilion a few minutes before 1pm.  I don't expect, given the short notice, that it will be an issue but if more than 10 people are interested, I'll take the first 10.  I haven't decided when/where yet but I'll try to do this again a few more times this season so it won't be the end of anything, let alone the world, if tomorrow's walk is in fact oversubscribed or tomorrow isn't convenient for you. Cheers.

Jon Torrance

Blue shirt left at Patuxent


With apologies for not saying so sooner, a somewhere in the spectrum between sky blue and royal blue shirt, size large, was found at the end of the Patuxent event two weekends past apparently forgotten in the men's restroom. Since the meet kit and accompanying lost and found had already departed, I took and retain possession of this shirt.  If you think it may be yours, email me - I'll have it with me at Balls Bluff this Sunday or we can arrange for me to return it to its owner at some other forthcoming event. Cheers.


Orienteer at Patuxent This Sunday

Greg Lennon

Enjoy some rain-free orienteering this Sunday at Patuxent River Park (Upper Marlboro, MD), where in addition to all classic courses (white through blue), two 'contours-only' training courses will be offered by course setter Craig Shelden.

Register at the event anytime between 10:45am - 1:15pm, start any time between 11 - 1:30, and be back at the finish no later than 3pm.

Lots of great course details as well as driving directions are now posted on the event webpage, so make sure to check them out and to plan to be there this Sunday!

Zero to Orange course registration deadline


FYI, in case you haven't noticed it on the web site, Bob Turbyfill has arranged another session of his Zero to Orange in 3 Days course, with classroom and in the woods training on Oct. 6-7, this coming weekend at Patuxent, and final exam, written and practicum, at Balls Bluff on Oct. 21 - As of last checking, there is room in the course for at least a few more registrants but for Bob's ease in planning, he wants to know who all will be taking part no later than tomorrow.  If you or anyone you know would like a firm grounding in Orienteering 101, that's this course and online registration is live at Please sign up by tomorrow evening if you'd like to take part.  Bob is expected to offer the course again in the spring but it's a long time until then.

Note: it doesn't say online but typically in the past this course has run, somewhat influenced by park/classroom facility opening times, from fairly early morning to mid-afternoon on each day of instruction.


Orienteer - on Bike or on Foot - This Sunday at Lake Accotink

Greg Lennon

Plan to orienteer this Sunday, Sept. 23 at Lake Accotink Park (near Springfield, VA), where we hope to offer both mountain bike orienteering courses (weather permitting) and foot orienteering courses (rain or shine).

If the weather is reasonable, the start window for the bike (MTBO) courses will be from 8:30-10am. The start window for the foot courses will be our standard 11am - 1:30pm (with courses closing at 3pm).

Speaking of the foot courses, in addition to classic point-to-point white, yellow, and orange courses, we will debut a special Score-O type of course for advanced (and adventurous intermediate) orienteers, the Thomass event. A Thomass course features a single score-O window, in which everyone has their own handicap based on age/gender/experience, entitling them to skip a certain number of controls. For this event, an (optional) mass start will be offered at noon, with a 11:50am meetup for map distribution and pre-race briefing.

There are plenty more event details as well as driving directions to the McLaren-Sargent Pavilion registration area on the event webpage, so check that page out and plan to have a great time at Lake Accotink this Sunday!


Orienteer at Occoquan Park This Sunday

Greg Lennon

Our club's 2018-2019 season opens this Sunday, September 16, with a classic orienteering event at Occoquan Regional Park (near Lorton, VA). We are glad to be able to say that the current weather forecast calls for a mild day with little to no rain, and we will have beginner through advanced course options (white through blue).

Event timing is our standard: register at the event any time between 10:45am - 1:15pm, start any time between 11am - 1:30pm, and be back before 3pm. Bring friends and family, bring a dog if you wish, and enjoy the new features at this fine local park.

Full event details and driving directions are available via the event webpage.

See you Sunday!

Orienteer at Occoquan Park This Sunday

Greg Lennon

Our club's 2018-2019 season opens this Sunday, September 16, with a classic orienteering event at Occoquan Regional Park (near Lorton, VA). We are glad to be able to say that the current weather forecast calls for a mild day with little to no rain.

Event timing is our standard: register at the event any time between 10:45am - 1:15pm, start any time between 11am - 1:30pm, and be back before 3pm. Bring friends and family, bring a dog if you wish, and enjoy the new features at this fine local park.

Full event details and driving directions are available via the event webpage.

See you Sunday!

Let us know about your summer 2018 orienteering experience

Kathleen Lennon

Did you have a great orienteering experience here or outside the area this summer? Let me know so that I can post it to Facebook - we can't wait to share it! 

Here's what I need to make that FB post happen:

  1. Photos: please submit 1-3 photos, I will choose one final photo to be posted.
  2. Write-up: please keep your write-up short, 1-3 sentences is great.
Yup, that's it. Please send your photos and short write-up to kalennon@... 


Kathleen Lennon
QOC Publicity

Introductory Orienteering Event This Saturday

Greg Lennon

Hi QOC members -
This is a reminder that this Saturday, September 8, we have our second "Introduction to Orienteering" event at Pohick Regional Park.

This is a FREE annual event that gives you the chance to encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to get outside and experience the activity you love and are always talking about. Full details can be found online HERE. Spread the word!

Northern Va Senior Olympics Registration Deadline Extended to 8/31

Good, Katherine E.

Over 50?  Live in Northern Virginia?  If so, you have the option of participating on the NOVA Senior Olympic Orienteering event held in conjunction with QOC’s first event of the season at Occoquan Regional Park.

Registration has been extended.  Beginner ( white or yellow course – still to be determined) OR Advanced brown course.  Questions: contact Keg Good  keggood2013@...


Registration for the 2018 NVSO has been extended!



August 22, 2018


Dear Friends of the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics,


Thanks to popular demand, we have extended the deadline for registering for this year’s Northern Virginia Senior Olympics! 


Mail in registrations can now be postmarked as late as Aug. 31 and still be accepted. If you are registering online at, you have until midnight, Sept. 3, to register for any of our dozens of competitions taking place throughout Northern Virginia. We have some great new games and our registration prices are still the lowest around, thanks to all of our generous sponsors and patrons!


Our goal is to make this the biggest and best senior games, which is why we are all very excited to offer everyone this extra time to register.


So don’t hesitate and be late, register now for the 2018 NVSO! Remember, there are no onsite registrations for any of our events and after Sept. 3, you will not be able to signup for this year’s fun and festivities. 


We are looking forward to seeing you at the games!






Peter P. McGuirk

NVSO Registrations

1640 N. Harrison St.

Arlington, VA 22205-2729

Phone: (703) 533-9620

Cell: (571) 235-5547

FAX: (703) 534-8149


Northern Virginia Senior Olympics | P.O. Box 2089, Merrifield, VA 22116



Boris Granovskiy

Hi QOC members,

In case you missed it, I wanted to point out that QOC member Diana Aleksieva represented the club well at the recent North American Orienteering Championships (NAOC) in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Racing in the F17-18 Elite category, Diana became the North American Champion in the sprint, earned bronze in the middle distance, and, along with fellow QOC member Zach Kuder, was part of the strong US junior contingent that defeated Canada for the Future Champions Cup, a trophy given to the nation in North America with the strongest junior results at NAOC.

Congratulations to Diana, Zach, and their families!

2nd: Reminder to register: SQUIRRELNADO Summer Series: Saturday, Aug 25th

Peggy Dickison

Sorry if you already received this or if you’re not interested. But in case you didn’t see Ted’s additional notes for this Saturday, here they are. 

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Ted Good" <tedgood@...>
Date: August 20, 2018 at 9:00:41 PM EDT
To: "'Peggy Dickison'" <pdickison@...>, <nadim@...>, <nedrenner@...>, <dabearsnic@...>, <pattilightie@...>, <phession@...>, <pnelsonbus@...>, <ambull01@...>, <richjules@...>, <slistwak@...>, <scott.sharp1@...>, <shane055@...>, <sidneysachs@...>, <scamp72377@...>, <strat@...>, <tom@...>, <tom@...>, <tomwells@...>, <tldougherty@...>, <>, <pstrat57@...>, <turner.leigh3@...>, <videlin.aleksiev@...>, <VMeyer9086@...>, <wppreston@...>, <sean.szymanski@...>, <joshuas0125@...>, <egbreton@...>, <wahubsch@...>, <sfmones@...>, <micheal.laraia@...>, <renycole@...>, <John.decuir@...>, <lichungliu@...>, <davidsupleyfoxworth@...>, <someara@...>
Subject: 2nd: Reminder to register: SQUIRRELNADO Summer Series: Saturday, Aug 25th

2nd announcement for Coming Saturday event.  I added the short mountain bike course.  A few updates in the notes below.  Let me know if you have questions.


Saturday Aug 25th ,2018 SquirrelNADO Summer Series

            Event Mass Start 3:30pm.  Finish time 6:30pm


RSVP: email tedgood@... if you plan to attend.

      Please RSVP by 9:00 pm Thursday Aug 23 (sooner is better as specialty supplies and food have to be acquired).


    Entry Form:


         SquirrelNado Sprint Events (Y/N): 

         Post race food (Y/N):         

         Prize Exchange: (Y/N):


     The Squirrel event series is in its 17th year of the summer series.   Come celebrate a whirlwind of park events at this year’s SquirrelNADO (like SharkNado but with Squirrels).  It will be part sprint, part score, part rogaine, part car, and all fun.  There are numerous areas nearby the Severn, MD area that have been mapped (some brand new areas).  Most are small local parks or technology areas.  Each area will have one or more courses in it. Each course is a sprint type course.  Controls should be done in order but you can skip controls if needed (See Scoring).  This is a multi-map chance to practice whatever you want.  Focus on certain type of event, or try them all and gets lots of exercise.  You have 3 hours to get as much done as you can/want.  Which parks you go to is up to you.  Who you travel with is up to you.  Whether you run, bike, roller blade, or pogo stick each course is up to you. Although some courses are more suitable for certain methods.  Just bring a watch so you can measure your time for each course.

     As usual we will end at the home of Ted and Darcy Good for the make your own pizza party, and social time.


Location & Schedule: 

     2:30-3:25 registration

           Matthewstown Harmons Park

7605 Ridge Chapel Road,

Hanover, MD 21076

     3:30 Mass Start: field/parking lot sprint.

     4:30-5:00:Late arrivals Registration/Start time: same location as above.           

     6:30:  Courses close.

     Finish: Home of Ted and Darcy Good (We have cats for those with allergies)

            1713 Prairie Court

            Severn, Maryland 21144



     Minimum of $5.00 but I expect more donations as you get so much more from this event: food, games, multiple orienteering, awards, preprinted maps……  It will cost more than $5 just to print all the maps.  All money goes to the U.S. team so dig deep into those pockets.


SquirrelNADO Park Tour Rules:

     We will meet at Matthewstown Harmans Park for the 3:30 mass start.  The event will end at Good’s house hold.

     There are many mapped areas.  Several of the parks touch each other so it is possible to run/bike from one to another.  Other parks will require driving to get to.

      Who travels in what car is entirely up to you (see award scoring).

      Cars are required to follow ALL traffic rules.  Any car getting a ticket will forfeit all points.  Cars are required to park in one spot per map.  I.E. you can’t drive along dropping off people.  Cars must park before dropping off or picking up people.

      There is no guarantee there will be parking in the lots.  I have no idea how busy the parks will be.  Some areas are heavily used, others much less so.

     Courses must be done in control order but you can skip controls.  For example, you can do control 1-4,7,10,11.  Your time on each course is important but only if you do all the controls.  Courses/maps can be done in any order.  As the maps overlap, you can get score controls while on a sprint course.

     Bikes Courses: 2 bike courses where road bikes are fine.  One course Mountain bikes where the trails are Gnarly and not in good condition (sandy, marshy, sticks).   Road Courses are road/paved trails.  Road Bike courses can be done in either direction as the start is not near the finish.  Bikes can be used on the field sprint courses but mountain bikes would be better suited for that.   Bikers need helmets.

      For all courses, you are required to touch the control.  I will have squirrels watching to make sure everyone does.


     Course distances range from 180m to 10K.  Most field and wood sprint courses are 1-2K each.  Bike courses are longer.  If you try to get them all there are 116 controls and  28K (Hmmm, I wonder how I am going to get them all hung in time? I did 9 tonight.)


Each car will get:

  • road overview of the area of all the parks.  Few road names on the map.  There will also be a description (information below) of the courses and maps.  I recommend a GPS in order to find the parks.  I plan to email the course information out ahead of time so you can prepare GPS ahead of time.  Park addresses will be provided.
  • Score sheet to mark how many controls, or the time on each course if you get them all.


Park information:

  • Course Types include: Field, Woods, Bike
  • Course Lengths.
  • Mode: Foot and/or Bike (mountain bike)
  • # Controls
  • Map Scale (1,2,500 or 1:5,000 or 1:10,000)
  • Control Type: what you are looking for (control, streamer, orange flag).
  • Map Address: so you can GPS it to get to it.
  • Parking information: In a parking lot or along the road
  • On separate sheets there will Map/course notes for each course.


Each Individual will get

  • A copy of each map and clue descriptions
  • Two map cases (one to hold all the maps and one to run with).
  • Orienteering Quiz
  • Orienteering activities:


     You get points for each course you do.  Everyone will need to keep track of their own course time (or the number of controls done) and write that on the score sheet.  When done turn the score sheets into the event coordinator.

     Scoring will be a percentage of the fastest time on each course.  Score = fastest time/your time * 100 = your points for each maps.

      If controls are skipped during a course, you get a percentage of the last place time.  For example if there are 10 controls on a course and you get 6 of them, then you will get 60% of score of whomever the last person to get all the controls.  So if the last placed finisher got 50%, you would get 30 points (50 x 0.6).  If no one finished all the controls then whoever had the most controls will get 100 points and other a percentage of that.

     There will also be various other activities that can generate points.

     Whoever has the most points wins.  Points determine prize selection order.



     Once again, there will be awesome prizes awarded (must be present at ceremony to receive awards).  Awards will be determined based on points from orienteering and other activities.  Awards are only for those that actually orienteer.  To get an award: competitors must get a minimum of 3 controls.  There will only be one award per competitor.  Awards will be awarded until there are no more awards left or everyone has one.

     Decisions (and mistakes) of the judges are final.


     Again this year you can bring an award to exchange/swap.  Bringing an award is totally optional.  If you have suitable type merchandise you want to get rid of you can bring it with the following conditions:

  1. Only allowed to bring one item per competitor (no exceptions)
  2. You must identify what you brought.
  3. If no one selects your prize then you must take it home with you.  No leaving it behind.



     You will need your own watch for timing on each course.

     No speeding on the roads (that part isn’t a race).

     I recommend bringing towels/plastic for the car as you hop between parks.

     There are numerous slupee/icee locations around the parks (some on the map).

     We don’t have any permits.  Be respectful of the parks and any other patrons of the parks.

     I will be roaming the parks with drinks but may not be in the park when you need it so bring your own.

Post Orienteering: Food and Events:

     The post orienteering food will again be ‘pizza’.  We will provide the pizza.  You don’t need to bring anything unless you have special dietary needs. We will also have other foods available (foods TBD but probably chips/desserts of some sort).  Common sodas will be provided.  Bring your own alcohol.


     Those wishing to stay for post food MUST BRING a Change of CLOTHING (and use them) in order to gain access to the house.  No icky clothes in the main part of the house (especially if you were in the woods).  If you plan to eat you must also let us know so we can get enough food (see line on entry form).  Showers/Towels will again be available (and recommended) for competitors. 


      There is usually at least one post orienteering activity.  It is voluntary to participate but they do generate points towards awards.


FINISH DIRECTIONS:  There won’t be anyone there during the event.

    The event is in Severn Md. About 1/2 way between DC and Baltimore. 


     To the finish area:

   - Take the BW Parkway to Rt 175.  Go east on Rt 175 for  ~ 1.3 miles.

     Go past the shopping center on the right. 

   - Turn left onto Disney Rd.  There is a Stop light at Disney and a CVS pharmacy on the left.

   - Go 3/4 of a mile and turn right on Frontier Rd.

   - Make the first right on Prairie Court.

   - Go to the circle part of the court.  Park along Prairie Court.  DO NOT PARK ON THE GRASS.



1713 Prairie Court

Severn, Maryland,

410-551-4838 (h)


Recommended things to bring:

GPS, Towels, Orienteering Gear, Beverages for between events, Bug Spray, suntan lotion.  Watch, Bike/Helment,  MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.


Map Notes:

Maps made from Google Earth and then field checked.  Contours are from Anne Arundel County data (converted into a format I could use by Greg Lennon).  Sprint Maps are 1:5,000.  Bike maps are 1:15,000.  Contours are 1m or 3 meter.   Parks are generally pretty flat.

Black circles denote Playing field lights.  Parking lot lights are not on the map.  Most maps use sprint map symbols but some of the older ones are classic maps.



Critters: The Ball field areas are chigger/tick free.  The dirt trails in the woods or overgrown fields may have chiggers and ticks.  If you are in the woods you Will GET CHIGGERS (see individual map notes).    There is always a chance of ticks so check yourself. Bug spray still highly recommended.  I will have Duct Tape available to help dechigger for anyone brave enough.

Poison Ivy: There is a little bit in the woods but shouldn’t be a problem.

Bathrooms: Most of the parks have bathrooms or portajohns that you can see from the parking area.  I can’t speak to their condition or if they have toilet paper.





          Ted Good

          Squirrel Summer Series Coordinator.


Registration deadline is looming for NOVA Sr Olympics

Good, Katherine E.

For those of you living in Northern Va and who are over 50 years young:

Orienteering courses in include a beginner (W or Y) and a brown ( short advanced)


July 30, 2018


Online registration for the 2018 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics closes on August 24. Paper registrations must be in the mail by August 20.  The deadlines are earlier than in past years -- DO NOT PROCRASTINATE -- REGISTER NOW! 


We have added three new sports for 2018, Beach Ball Wallyball, Canasta and Croquet. For more information, and to register online, go to the NVSO website,, or click on this link, NVSO Website. The website has a wealth of helpful information, such as schedules, venues and rules for each event.


To start the registration process, at the website, click on "Registration", then on "Online Registration (click here)". If you wish to register by mail, download the "List of Events, Registration and Waiver" form, pages 7 and 8 of the paper registration form, enclose a check and mail the registration to me at the address below. If you are registering by paper, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU INDICATE YOUR PREFERENCE FOR A FREE T-SHIRT on the List of Events Form.


A few notes:


·     If you are searching for a partner or team, let us know at nvso1982@.... Your contact information will be posted on the Athletes Bulletin Board on the NVSO website.


·     You only need to enter something into a "Partner" box if you signed up for a doubles event. If you are playing singles only, leave it blank.


·     If you are signing up for a team sport, such as Basketball or Beach Ball Wally Ball, enter the team's name or some information that will help the event director place you with a team.


·     You will notice that all online payments are processed through PayPal. If you have a PayPal account, you may use that for your payment. If you don't have a PayPal account, simply click on "Checkout As a Guest" and fill out your credit card info. 


Don't delay. Register NOW! See you in September.


Regards, Pete


Peter P. McGuirk

NVSO Registrations

1640 N. Harrison St.

Arlington, VA 22205-2729

Phone: (703) 533-9620

Cell: (571) 235-5547

FAX: (703) 534-8149



Introductory Orienteering Event This Saturday

Greg Lennon

Hi QOC members -

This is a reminder that this Saturday, July 14, we have our first of two "Introduction to Orienteering" events at Wheaton Regional Park.The next one will be Saturday, Sept 8 at Mason Neck.

These are FREE annual events that give you the chance to encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to get outside and experience the activity you love and are always talking about. Full details can be found online HERESpace is still available so spread the word!


Summer Series 2018, 6-16-2018

Daniel Heimgartner

Summer Series 2018, 6-16-2018

Daniel Heimgartner

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