It is the last thing a runner needs, particularly at the end of a hard, long training session: to be electrocuted. I was coming off End Hill at the northern extent of the Malvern Hills when I stepped over a low fence. My T-shirt, which was hanging from my shorts, must have brushed the wire, for a split second later electrocution happened. A short, very sharp shock. I put my hand to my head to check my hair was standing on end.
The electrifying incident came close to the conclusion of a 13-mile trot over the spine of the Malvern Hills, starting at North Malvern, running as far as Herefordshire Beacon, and then back, all in a shade under two hours. My route crossed 19 hilltops, many of them ascended twice, albeit from different sides, with 425-metre Worcestershire Beacon the highest.
It was ideal Ben Nevis training, with the total ascent coming to 750 metres. Some of the climbs were short and steep, others long and on gentler gradients. Approaching Worcestershire Beacon for the second time, I began to flag. It would have been quicker to walk, but the same thought kept turning around in my mind: If I can’t beat Worcestershire Beacon, I certainly can’t beat the Ben. So I kept going, churning uphill. Perseverance – aptly one of the hills I crossed – was the name of the game today.