Bikes, Boars and Hay Fever

Saturday was the day I got my first ever road bike, a Giant Defy 1, and she’s a beauty.


I’ve taken her out for a couple of rides when the weather has been good and I look forward to some long journeys later in the year.


On Sunday, I got myself a headlamp and took to the mountains for my first ever nighttime trail run. Despite the darkness, it took me just 31 minutes to run from my house up to the top of Mt. Gongen and back. If I ever qualify for the UTMF (Ultra Trail Mount Fuji), I’ll need to run through the night as I tackle the 160km course around Japan’s most famous mountain.


Little did I know that on the previous day, a wild boar (bizarrely kept as a pet) had escaped from its cage and disappeared into the Kakamigahara Alps. The beast reportedly charged a 72-year-old hiker, injuring his left leg, and terrorized the locals who put schools on alert. The police had it surrounded, but watched it disappear again into the mountains where hunters are attempting to track it.


Although I’ve kept up my daily workouts, I’ve been struck down with hay fever for the first time since coming to Japan. Strong winds have blown sands from Mongolian deserts, air pollution from Beijing, and pollen from Cedar trees over my neighborhood and I’m really struggling to get through my classes.

I hope I get over it before the Seki 10K this coming Sunday. It’s extremely unlikely I can PB in it, but I have no excuse for not trying. Unless hay fever counts!


  1. Bob Poulson

    Hi Nick,
    Found your blog from Scott Brown’s. I’m the leader of Namban Rengo, Tokyo’s international running club ( Good to know of a runner in Gifu, as occasionally people email me, asking about places to run other than Tokyo. We have about 12 triathletes in our group, who do tris all over Japan, and Asia. They have a triathlon forum, if you want to join it, I’ll put you in touch with one of them.

    • Nick Ramsay

      Hi Bob, thanks for the comment. Gifu’s a great place to run, and is home to Naoko Takahashi and the Ibigawa Marathon. I’m just getting my feet wet in triathlon, but am excited to hear there’s a new Ironman in Hokkaido. If I get into next year’s event, I’ll come looking for that forum you’ve got. πŸ™‚