Easy, online registration which closed the day before the event. There was on-site registration as well. You had the option to have your bib mailed out to you (registering before a deadline) or picking up at the Expo. I paid $55 for 5K registration under the standard rate. It did go up $5 for on the day registration.
Unfortunately I didn’t make the Expo given that I’m out of the Sydney area. On site registration was set up in the Recovery Village, and given that the weather had turned (for the worse) that morning, the team at the Sydney Harbour 10K had set up heaters between the village and the start line - for which I am incredibly grateful! Bag check was outside, I made sure to put my bag in a provided plastic bag, it was meant to rain and without any cover over the gear I didn’t want my bag to soak.
There was a row of portaloos just before you made your way to the start line. It could be possible that it was too cold for everyone to use them, there was absolutely no wait whatsoever.
No swag for either race - bib pickup is just that. Bib and gear sticker for bag check. Post race there was a few sponsors giving away items at the recovery village - I picked up a bottle of water, a banana and the newspaper for the day.
There were race shirts and tanks available for sale. This is the second race in the cooler time of the year where there hasn’t been any race branded hoodies available. Honestly, if one race gets this right - at the point where I’m cold - they will get all my money!
If you have your bib with you pre-race travel on public transport is included, if you prefer to drive then there is a 24 hour car park about 15 mins from the start line which will cost you $25.
The one feature about the Sydney Harbour 10K & 5K is the course. It takes in some of Sydney’s most amazing scenery and is billed as flat and fast. To be honest, it doesn’t disappoint at all.
The start of the race takes place just beyond the Museum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks on George Street, looking up at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 5K is an out and back course, going past the piers famous for housing amazing restaurants and the Sydney Dance Company, up along Hickson Road until a turn point amongst the Bangaroo development. Once Bangaroo is completed, this will provide another level of scenery along the course. But for now, it serves as the turnaround point and place for the 5K water station.
The 10K continues past this point through Darling Harbour, down past the Star Casino in Pyrmont alongside Jones Bay and back again.
The course is on closed roads for 90% of the way. There are roundabouts and speed humps in locations which may cause obstacles if you aren’t looking where you are meant to be going. About 1km out the course then switches to the boardwalk around the Park Hyatt Sydney, Overseas Passenger Terminal and finally to the finish in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art (and with the Sydney Opera House as a backdrop).
The crowds really build up about 200m from the finish line. I didn’t expect too many supporters out there - it was windy and really cold! Overall there were plenty of volunteers along the course - all wearing yellow shirts. These guys were amazing out there cheering on all runners and giving their time in awful weather, I managed to thank them all for volunteering - I feel that it’s so important to recognise their commitment to allow us to run!
There were photographers out on course, in fact there seemed to be more photographers within the 5K run that I have seen in any run (without character stops like runDisney) - and to be honest, with Sydney Harbour as a backdrop you would want every part of the run captured.
Once finished you pass over the timing mats (each race is timed) and straight to the medals. The medals are distinguished between the 10K and the 5K, but the overall design is the same.
There is a water table set up as you exit the runners chute, offering both bottled water and an orange drink (assuming it was sports drink).
I recommend this race to anyone in Sydney during July, you’ll get an amazing run with incredible scenery and a PR*! I will definitely be back next year - hopefully the weather will be a little warmer!
*Not guaranteed but it is a flat and fast course!