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Running notebook: Flat enough?

A question came up during last Saturday's Run for Hope in Tonawanda. Is that the flatest race course in Western New York? It has to be a candidate. There is a very small incline going north to south on either side of two miles, but that's about it. I would think the other candidate might be the Canalfest 4-Mile Run in Tonawanda, which goes right along the water. The Bob Ivory Run isn't exactly rugged, but there is a slow if long incline up Colvin.

Lots of runs coming up, some of which will have some hills. Here's the rundown from Buffalorunners.com:

* Checker's Athletic Club Mueller Mile, 1 Mile, Main St. in Tonawanda, 7 p.m. Thursday, (617) 312-3457. This draws an elite field, but it's fun for slowpokes like me to run the distance as well. It's the only chance of the year to run a mile in competition, which is why it's a Runner of the Year race.

* Tops 5K and 10K Run for Roswell, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 635-5221. This race took no time at all to grow. They got the bugs worked out by the second time around, and attracts a big crowd. No one goes away hungry, either.

* Run for the Shelter 5K, Delaware Park in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Saturday. This is a new race. Registration and starting line are by the tennis courts, by the way -- the application didn't say.

* Tomato Trot 5K, Evangola State Park in Irving, 9 a.m. Sunday, 861-8041

-- Budd Bailey

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