What’s new in 2021?

We understand that we are currently facing unprecedented times, but we want to ensure all participants that we are working closely with NSW Health to bring you a COVID safe event on the 5 December 2021.


As per the recently released Reopening NSW Roadmap, the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k & 5k will return. We will be implementing many COVID Safe practices to ensure the safety of our participants, staff, volunteers, stakeholders and general public. Please take the time to read the information below to familiarise yourself before attending the event.​

Please note: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or awaiting your test result we ask that you do not attend the event. You will be entitled to a refund of your registration fee or deferral to 2022 following presentation of satisfactory evidence. If you have travelled to a COVID Hotspot in the last 14-days we ask that you do not attend the event. We encourage anyone that develops symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested immediately and isolate. For more information please go to

Service NSW Check in

All participants will be sent a link to complete the Service NSW Check In ahead of their arrival at the event. This will be sent via email and published on social media a few days prior to the event. Please ensure you complete the Service NSW Check in prior to attend the event. 


Please stay tuned to our social media pages as we provide regular event information and updates in the lead up to the event.

Arriving at the event

We recommend all participants should aim to arrive 30 minutes prior to their wave start. By staggering arrivals this helps spread the number of participants arriving at one time. 


Participants that have not yet completed the Service NSW Check In prior to their arrival at the event will have another opportunity to do this upon arrival. QR code signs will be displayed in numerous locations to complete your check in via a mobile device.


Baggage services will not be available in 2021. This is in order to reduce touch-points and assist in making this event as COVIDsafe as possible. ​

We recommend that you bring only essential items that you can either carry for the whole distance or dispose of at the start line. All discarded clothing will be donated to charity​.

Start line

We have extended our start windows for each event to aid social distancing from start to finish. We will operate a slow-release rolling start (approx. 300 participants per minute).


Note: this will not impact your race time on event day. Each race bib has a timing chip attached which will only start registering from the time you cross the start line.


Please practice good physical distancing and retain 1.5m distance where possible and refrain from high fives and hugging of other participants.

On course

Please keep 1.5m from other participants where possible during your participation.


We recommend bringing your own water carrying device for use during the event. Cupped water will however be available throughout the course. All drink station staff will be following our COVID Safe procedures including wearing of masks and gloves.


If you feel unwell at any point during the event, please notify a marshal or staff member at your earliest convenience.

Crossing the finish line

The usual running services will be available at the finish line, including a medal, water and medical.​

Walk further and you will find the festival village, including sponsors activations, live entertainment, event info and a coffee cart. To support rebooting local business, we won’t be offering any food, we encourage you to visit local cafe/restaurants/bars in The Rocks or Circular Quay.​

Wave allocation

Due to strict COVID-19 social distancing requirements, The Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k & 5k will need to limit the number of participants who can run in each wave. This will help spread out runners across the course and limit the number of people at the start line at any one time.


Participants will still be able to choose from wave A through to wave D for the 10k or wave A through to Wave C for the 5km, however each wave will be split further into additional sub waves ahead of race day (i.e wave A 1 or wave A 2).


Sub wave allocation will be dependent on when a participant registers for the event, therefor, if you are running with a team or with someone else, we recommend you register online at the same time to help ensure you are allocated within the same wave group.


Please note, the wave you are allocated will not impact your race time on event day. Each race bib has a timing chip attached which will only start registering from the time you cross the start line.


Participants will be advised their sub wave and bib number closer to event day via email from the Race Roster system.  If you have any questions or concerns about your start wave, or wish to change start waves, please contact our customer service team – and we will try our best to accommodate your request.  Please note this is subject to availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What COVID Safe measures will be in place for the event?


There will be measures in place to provide a COVID Safe environment for participants, staff, volunteers, and the community which will adhere to the health and safety regulations laid out by the government at the time of the event. Additional measures may include contact tracing capabilities for participants and spectators, rolling start waves and overflow areas for the start and finish lines to allow participants to socially distance, as well as, additional cleaning and sanitising of high-touch areas and hand sanitisation stations throughout the event sites.


Further information around COVID safety measures will be provided to participants in the weeks leading up to the event via our official event newsletters, social media channels, and website. COVID safe measures will be implemented on the event day with dedicated signage, PA system announcements and additional support from our event staff and volunteers at the event.

Will the event experience change?

To ensure the safety of participants and workforce, there will be some changes to this year’s Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k and 5k.


  • Both events will start 30 minutes earlier (5km: 7:00am and 10km: 8:00am)
  • Staggered arrival times
  • Slower start line release to reduce runner density on course and venue
  • NO BAGGAGE to reduce touchpoints and minimise
  • Additional cooling strategies on hand to combat any potential increase in heat

Will drink stations still be available?

Participants are encouraged to carry their own hydration with them.


Drink stations will still be available at designated locations on the course;

Drink Station 1 – 5km and 10km

Drink Station 2 – 10km only


A contingency drink station will also be planned should warm and humid weather be predicted. Staff and volunteers manning the drink stations will be given additional COVID safety training.


We understand December is traditionally a warmer month and as such we may implement several cooling strategies to help participants, some of these could include,

  • Active cooling procedures around the course (ice bags, host ice-water dousing stations etc)
  • Contingency drinks station, should warm weather be predicted
  • Pre-event communication educating participants how to manage increased heat

Will there be capacity limits on the races?

The event will need to adhere to the social distancing and capacity guidelines in place at the time of the event. This may mean that we will need to reduce the traditional field size to meet these guidelines so we would suggest that you register early to secure your place.

Do I need to be vaccinated to take part?

As per the NSW government advice, as of 1st December, everyone may participate, inclusive of those unvaccinated. However, we encourage the small percentage of the population currently unvaccinated obtain a COVID test before participating.