This is around my regular training route and is pretty flat all the way. I've not done it myself but I ran into last year's race (almost literally) while I was out for my long Sunday run. It's all road except, I think, for the finish.
The Bowood 10k the week following is a very different affair. It's got quite a bit of off road in it and is considerably more "lumpy". Even the organisers describe it as hilly.
It depends what you'd perfer really. The Clock Challenge is road, flatter and by default a quicker run. It is still in pretty countryside but not as dramatic as Bowood's scenery - but you pay for the scenery with a hillier, multi-terrain and inevitably slower race.
Sounds just like a proper muscle spasm. Could be caused by a number of things one of which could be posture. If you were running tired and leaning forward a lot more, the combination of that and heavier, perhaps more laboured breathing as a result of running 50% further than you would do normally could easily result in extra strain on your back muscles, and a spasm.
It could just as equally be caused by a more fundamental weakness in your core stability which you need to work on to strengthen your spine.
The pain would more than likely be from either your little breathing muscles between the ribs or from trapezius which is a sort of triangular set of muscles that run up your spine, across your shoulders and back down around your shoulder blade.
Best advice in the short term is keep it warm, gently stretch and get in for some physio pronto!!
Most of the course appears to be on minor roads : the Drayton / Abingdon Road bit is a main road and we have to do that twice but once we get off that the rest of the route looks reasonably quiet except for the last 2-3 miles which brings you back into the middle of the town - which to be honest I think will be quite uplifting at a difficult point in the race so that's not bad at all. Most of the main road bits have a cycle pathway running alongside the roads so whether we'll be asked to keep to the cycle tracks I don't know.
The stretch from Sutton Courtney back up towards the river and Preston Road called Peep 'o Day Lane is completely traffic free (cycle path). The surface looked ok from what I could see of it so again no worries.
I think Phil should be fine Mick - the cycle path bit did look as though it had a gravel strretch but I'm sure you'll have run over some pretty ropey surfaces in your time!!
Sorry to hear you're having to drop out NickP but well done for marshalling. See you all Sunday!!
Morning all - did a dummy run on Saturday morning - got up at 6.30 and drove up to Abingdon and then went round the route in the car - as much of it as we could anyway (according to MAPMYRUN). It really is pretty flat all the way - there's one little lumpy bit as we swing away from the river and head out down Drayton / Abingdon Road but that's about it.
I was surprised that we get so close to Didcot Power station - let's hope the wind's blowing in the right direction !! There are some lovely rural bits to it as well as the inevitable industrial bits but overall it looks a cracking course.
Managed a reasonably steady 7 miler on Sunday morning but I did find myself wanting to run further and a bit quicker. Don't know if that's a good thing or not.
Taper madness strikes again ..... best of luck everyone .......