AVBOB Silver Queen 10km Runway Race 2023 – Ysterplaat Airforce Base

To commemorate the flight from England to Cape Town by two South African pilots in 1920.

Wednesday as a rule of thumb is when a group of us gals run with Handsoncoach Alan Green – our local coach, covering between 6km to 10km’s, depending on what time one starts.  This Wednesday would certainly be no exception and after being collected by Heidi and Mandy it was off to meet the peeps and get a good run in.  Spectacular weather made for really pleasant running conditions and running just 6km’s we were back to where we’d come from in no time.

Mike Kellet had been kind enough to pick me up from home for the Silver Queen 10km with the run being virtually on our doorstep.  A mere 16km’s from Sunningdale averaging a time of twenty minutes or so.  Give or take.  The venue had been so well advertised, not only on social media but some very bright spark – more than likely a woman – had tied Silver Queen signs on lamp posts which made it impossible to miss.  On entering the Airforce base there were uniformed staff directing one where to park – neatly and methodically.

I must admit I honestly thought there would be a handful of entries from our West Coast AC due to the CT Marathon on Sunday.  But what a pleasant surprise!  Westies turned out in their droves ready to conquer the Silver Queen.  There must have been twenty five at least, if not more.  Loads of photo’s were taken and we gathered around Mad Mike to sing and wish him a happy birthday!  And dare I say, there wasn’t a breath of wind to be felt.  This must surely go down in history as in past events, one could easily have got blown away by the gusty south easter.  Inside on of the hangar’s was a collection table.  Again, well organized with the numbers at their fingertips.  If one had entered on line – which I did – one’s name was on the number and pins – loads and loads of pins were readily available for the taking.

Porta loo’s took their place alongside the hangar and I do believe they were adequate for the amount of entries that showed up, although the gents have a much quicker turn around time than the women.  The race was scheduled to start at 18h15 and there were plenty of itchy feet ready and waiting to get going.  My input is that if they could start at 18h00 it would ensure running back to the finish line in day light hours.  I’m thinking of those who don’t take thirty minutes to run 10kms.

So it was time to go.  We took off up one of the runways avoiding the dreaded cat’s eyes as we ran en masse.  Granted there were plenty of cracks in the tarmac with weeds galore but these were really easy to run through and over.  Marshalls were in abundance and before we knew it there was the first water table.  Water sachets were being handed out – sadly not cold at all which really would have been super  handy.  I noticed too that there were no bins available which left the runways littered with hundreds of tiny plastic bags and tissues.  Be that as it may, the runways were so wide that there was little to no chance of one being kept behind a slower runner.  Says me!  Next watering hole was approximately 3km’s from the first one and again the sachets were tepid instead of being kept on ice.  My sentiment only.  However, the further I ran the darker it became.  The lights had been turned on at this stage and although it wasn’t pitch dark by any means I still think if we’d just started fifteen minutes earlier?

With just a km’s or two to go, one could hear the clapping and announcements from the finish line.  The end was in sight.  I crossed the line, received a medal for completing the Silver Queen 10km, grabbed two cups of cold water then headed off with Mike to his car.

All in all this was a wonderful afternoon.  Extremely well organized.  Beautiful medals with really friendly volunteers and marshals.  This was my second Silver Queen, and I’d like to make a third!