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Interview with Bazoaxe

RRR-CAZ 🇬🇧 asks: Congratulations Bazoaxe If you were to be given a golden ticket to any sporting event across the globe what event would you choose to watch?

Bazoaxe says: This is an easy one as its already happened and I was there.

Scottish Cup Final in May 2016. Hibs go a goal up in 3 minutes attempting to break a 114 year hoodoo. In usual style despite playing well, then fall behind. An equaliser with 10 mins to go and then the amazing feeling of a 90+2 minute winner.

If I was to choose something I haven't been to then a boxing day ashes test would be pretty special.
pedroscalls asks: Congratulations. My question is, if time and money were no problem what route or race would you love to run?

Bazoaxe says: There are two races on my radar that I would like to do. The Boston Marathon I think albeit I guess the Athens one is the real original. I also think Comrades would be pretty cool. On balance though despite my vow to never visit the states, if the opportunity arose I would love a crack at Boston.
B Rubble asks: Wahay, you did it (even without joining a running club!). Congratulations on your tenacity and never giving up. What's next?

Bazoaxe says: The vagaries of VLM applications mean that I was already committed before Abingdon happened and so whats next is another attempt back in London. I would like to sneak under 2:59 as with hindsight that was more than possible at Abingdon but I let it slip. Not that I have half an eye on your PB of course ;-)
puzzler asks: Well done Baz, great to achieve your goal after all these years of trying. As Brailsford would say, it’s all about the one per cent differences. What do you think are the areas of marginal gains that made the difference?

Bazoaxe says: Great question and a few things:

1) Training Plan. Sticking to the change of plan and Jack Daniels I have found to be a great plan that works for me. It was time for a change after years of P&D

2) Shoes. For some reason I never tried lightweight shoes. I did for the heat impacted VLM 2018, but then went to Nike and invested in the VaporFly. More on these to answer another question though.

3) Fuelling. I decided to take more on board early as I have often missed late gels as I dont feel great. Same happened again but I had my quota inside me before that happened

4) Belief. I have always thought I had it in me to break 3 hrs, but the 2 x PBs in the build really left m e in no doubt that this was the time

5) Pacing. Hitting the right pace from the off and holding it. None of this time in the bank.
westmoors asks: Congratulations. If you could meet anybody, past or present, who would it be and why?

Bazoaxe says: A bit of a personal answer to this, but I would love to meet my Grandfather again. We had a great relationship in my early teens but I let that slip and didn't see him as much as I should have done in his later years. I feel bad about that.

When we were close he gave me his wartime medals but didn't ever say much about the war. I also knew he had a Military Cross in the house but I wasn't ever allowed to see that or told the story. When he passed away my Mum found the medal and gave it to me. It turns out there is an unknown story behind it. He had a brother who emigrated to and married in Canada. No one seems to know about this, but I have a Military Cross for some unknown act of bravery and no idea why my Grandfather has that when there was a wife in Canada.

I did start some investigations but didn't have the time to take it further, Might be one for my retirement days.
Daz Love asks: What would you say the difference was this time? Training, course, nutrition, mental or anything else?

Bazoaxe says: Daz, a very similar question to that from Puzzler which I think I have answered already.

Some other factors, I was lucky with the weather and although I enjoy Spring marathons, Autumn ones seem better as you train in harder conditions than you race in. Also Abingdon being less crowded meant I could focus on the racing line and just racing without needing to have your wits about you as is required in London.
Trin asks: Congratulations! Sub 3 is a massive achievement, well done! 😊 And a well deserved MOTM.
If money and circumstances were no object, where in the world would you like to live and why?


Bazoaxe says: I wonder if that is a loaded question as the answer is Malaga. As a family we go somewhere, love it and go back. Year after year.

If you asked me back in 2015 the answer would be Kalkan in Turkey, but an accidental October week in Malaga and we have been back frequently and forgotten about Kalkan. That said we have a big holiday planned for Kalkan next summer with grown up children and partners which will be ace. However Mrs Axe and I still would love to have a wee retirement place in Malaga.

The reason being the lovely climate, the lovely people and the fact you mix city living with a bit of the holiday as well. However not the Torremolinos type of holiday :-O
chunkywizard asks: Congrats! What are your goals at other distances and which one will you focus on next, if any?

Bazoaxe says: I have kind of hit my goals along the way so this is a tough question. A sub 1:23 HM was never in my sights until maybe 11 miles into the race when I realised it was very possible and my 18:25 parkrun was way beyond what I ever thought possible.

Arguably I could still go faster at 10k, but there are not many great local 10ks for fast running.

Maybe my focus needs to be longer races, but they don't really appeal either. I know that contradicts what I said about Comrades, so you never know !
snayak asks: Congrats! That feeling of elation when you crossed the line must have been out of this world. If you could go back, would you rather have got that sub 3 very early on, or did all those near-misses make your run in Abingdon that much sweeter?

Bazoaxe says: Easy answer. I am delighted it happened when it did as I have had a number of other PBs along the way and its been nice to keep chipping away and having PBs to celebrate. It is a good question though as I should have broken 3 hrs back in 2010 and then 2014 and also 2016. While I was a better and younger runner in 2010, I didn't have the right mindset and that is why it didn't happen. More on 2016 in reply to another question. 2014 I could have done it but didn't fully believe, but it was that run that gave me the belief that in due course I could.
HappyG(rrr) asks: So pleased for you getting your long sought goal. Massive admiration for sticking to your task and dedication to training and belief to achieve it on the day. Really inspiring stuff to get your marathon PB at (ahem!) 50-ish too. Anyhoo, just huge congrats and a hugely deserved MotM!

My first question was going to be what next? Will you try other stuff, ultras etc. or shorter races or take a break. But as I know you are straight back into London marathon training starting from December, that question is irrelevant! So I suppose I'll just ask an open question - what would be your next big goal? What could you achieve in another 10 years of trying?! Congrats again. :-) G


Bazoaxe says: Wow, that took some deciphering ! Next big goal is to repeat and register a 2:58 and also try and have sub 90 for both halves of the race.

Realistically 10 years more is not going to yield much more. Lets be honest I am fortunate to have run the time I did at my age. I would be quite happy if I am still achieving my good for age place in 10 years time.
MazH asks: Congratulatons! So do you even like Jack Daniels? Or just live by it? x

Bazoaxe says: Haha, I assume you mean the tipple. In truth I have never tried Jack Daniels the drink and I dont really like whisky(ey). He writes a good marathon training plan though :-)
Windsor Wool asks: Brilliant Baz. Did you ever think that it might not happen? I know that in my own situation I had doubts. How did you convince yourself that your time would come?

Bazoaxe says: Yep, that feeling has been there. I always knew I had it in me, it was just a case of all the planets aligning. With hindsight I thought 2016 was the year I blew it. That was the first year I finished a marathon being disappointed as I knew I had made mistakes yet again and they had cost me. A late place for Edinburgh and I almost did it, but for 28 seconds and I knew that I was in shape that year but the quick turnaround was too much.

I just kept plugging away and let the training guide me as to the possibility of hitting the goal. It was the confidence of a well executed HM that let me know I was capable and for once I had to eliminate the mistakes.
larkim asks: So well deserved, in every sense - for your training, your racing, and your contributions to Fetch. But a question. After chasing this benchmark for so long, do you think you'll suffer from any lack of motivation to achieve faster PBs in the marathon?

Bazoaxe says: My initial reaction was No, I had all the same motivation. However I do admit that I am finding it harder than normal to motivate myself on these cold, wet dark winter evenings. And its not even proper winter yet. I am sure I will get over this though once the formal plan for London 20 starts in mid December.
RFJ asks: Such an amazing talent and now reaping the rewards. Fantastic achievement well done.So the big question is how far, and how quick can you get... ?

Bazoaxe says: I think I have eaked out almost as much as I can and I suspect I might struggle to find any more improvements. It will not stop me trying though.
STOOSH asks: Well done baz - now that sub3 is in the bag (we all know you're now heading to London) do you plan on knocking out a sub80 half as a 'next big goal'?

Bazoaxe says: Sub 80 is nit happening ever. I improved at HM by a minute this year, no way I will find another 3 minutes. Unless you push me round in that running buggy ;-)
FergusG asks: Well done again Baz - a very well deserved result. What character trait do you reckon most drove you to keep chasing your goal when others might’ve given up?

Bazoaxe says: Sadly I have some form of OCD and that I think is a big part of what keeps me going. Once I had the sub 3 aim it was locked into my mind and has become an obsession.
katypie asks: So pleased to see your sub 3 and this MOTM AWARD. YAY. two questions from me. A bit like Fergus - how did you stay motivated to achieve the goal. And secondly will we ever actually see each other at dalmeny 🤣

Bazoaxe says: So I will take the 2nd question and wouldnt you know it. The week you post this question and our paths cross (OK it was Cammo but thats more or less Dalmeny). It really is uncanny that we run a very similar route at very similar times and yet never quite come across each other. Hopefully our paths cross again and you dont have the distraction of making sure your son is cycling safely.
Boab asks: I can't beleive it has been 11 years you have been chasing this!! I am so delighted for you Baz, for the sub 3 and the MOTM. This MOTM is so deserved. I've seen a photo of you coming into the finish at Abingdon, did you have the Vaporfly's on? If so my question is what do you honestly think they brought to the table? My real question is, as I am not totally onboard with the vaporfly advantage, what have you done differently in training, mobility, strength and nutrition to bring this so deserved sub 3?

Bazoaxe says: Great question and they definitely played a part. For reasons unknown I ran in Asics Gel Cumulus for years and only in 2018 dabbled with a lighter shoe (brooks asteria). I started on Nike ZoomFly by accident, like the feel of them and then plumped for the VaporFly as my racing shoe. How much is because of the supposed 4% and how much is just the benefit of a lighter show is anyones guess.

On mobility and strength, that is something I let slip this year and I wish I hadnt but I just lacked time. I can improve there.

Nutrition on race day was all about getting fuel in early and that worked well. My diet at other time s though could be improved significantly. However the main reason I started running was so I could eat what I wanted and lets face it, whats better than a long run on a Sunday and a Black Pudding Roll as a reward.
geordiegirl asks: A truly inspirational journey of grit, determination and drive..... firstly congratulations and a worth MOTM. What is your all time favourite race and why?

Bazoaxe says: Easy one for me. London Marathon. I know its crowded but the support you get and the big event fee,ling is just unbeatable in my opinions. That said, I have a pretty poor record at London over the years and my better runs have come mostly at smaller events.
paul the builder asks: Following on from WW above, I'm ashamed to admit that I thought it might never happen for you. I've never been happier to be wrong! Now if anyone says they can't do something, we can all say, "Well, have you tried for eleven years? No? Keep going then :-)".... Right. Question. What do you actually do for a living? I know all about your running, I reckon. But apart from spending long hours in an office in Edinburgh, I don't know what you do. Is it fulfilling?

Bazoaxe says: HaHa. I work in Financial Services and as a Business Project Manager. Is it fulfilling ? Sometimes but not often as the role seems to be to pick up the pieces for everyone else and slot in to do their job as they are too busy. I have been doing this role for longer than I have been running and many would say that I am a long way from being equivalent of sub 3 at my job. The odd thing is that I dont think I am very good at what I do, but those I work with have a very different view.
Joe Hawk asks: Hey Baz , what took you so long and what are your plans for retirement ;-)

Bazoaxe says: I was my own worst enemy and could have achieved sub 3 much sooner of I had a wiser head on my shoulders. I have no plans to retire from running as its become such a big part of my life since that first run back on 3/7/99. I have plenty plans for retirement from work(mostly running !) , but I need to keep working for a few years before that becomes a viable option.
LouLou asks: Richly deserved Bazo! Have you ever considered joining a running club?

Bazoaxe says: Nope, no one has ever suggested that would be worth considering ;-)

It is something I have considered many times but I havent ever taken the plunge. In part because I like to be a master of my own destiny and I wouldnt like to have a plan that said 4 x 2 mile tempo and find I was doing 10 x hill reps.

If you keep asking though, I might eventually overcome this and take the plunge :-)
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