So, today was the annual Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K!
I have to add this to The Happy List because I think it’s a brilliant starter 10K run for beginners, and it’s renowned for setting a lot of PBs for the experienced runners.
I managed to finish in 56.36 which I was pleased with, as last year I did it in 67 mins!
Known as the “fastest” and one of the flattest 10K courses in the world, The Sydney Harbour 10K boasts breathtaking views of Sydney – if you’re a visitor, it’s a great way to see parts of the city! The route takes runners around Darling Harbour, The Rocks and Circular Quay.
There are runners of all abilities – and with the addition of the new 5K race in 2014, there’s really something for everyone. I saw more kids than usual this year, mostly in the new, shorter race. And, as always there were plenty of people running with prams!
You can see the combined course map showing both the 5km and the 10km routes below.
I think this event makes for an excellent choice for your first ever 10K, as you can focus on distance (or speed) rather than hills in training. I found it helped to get me past my 5K routine and starting to focus on running longer distances.
The event atmosphere is upbeat, with plenty of staff cheering you on from the sidelines which really helps you to stay positive.
There’s only one water station, just past halfway, but I found this to be sufficient this year. I was really well hydrated anyway as I had been sipping water since I woke up.
Last year, it was the first 10K I had ever done and I must admit I didn’t train at all. The two nights before I stuffed my face with pizza and wine, then surprisingly managed to run it all and finish. I ached from head to toe – even straight after the race itself – and was almost wheelchair-bound for several days after. I also nearly threw up during the race. Not a good look!
But this year I learned my lesson and I started training 2-3 months ago. I wasn’t incredibly organised, but ran two to four times per week, with a mixture of inside/outside and sprints/longer runs. I had been doing 5km on the treadmill once a week or so on a regular basis since the beginning of this year as a habit, so this was enough training for me in the end.
TIP: If you’re in Australia, a great reference for running events is the Australian Running Calendar.
If you’re thinking about doing your first 10K, or even looking to improve your speed, it is a good idea to check out the training plans on Runner’s World so you can be really organised and in control of your fitness. It also ensures you don’t get injured!
This year I’m happy to say, I’m feeling okay, not too achy and I think it’s because I built up my endurance and strength in the weeks leading up to the event. It might seem hard to get out of bed sometimes, but it’s always worth it in the end!
If you’re in Australia, or Sydney and want to aim for a 10K next year, this is an event I highly recommend and I’ll definitely be back!
You can read more about the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K and 5K here.