What is the Wildlife Conservation Society Run for the Wild?

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Run for the Wild is a 5K Run and a 3K Family Fun Run/Walk held at the Bronx Zoo in support of WCS' work to help save wildlife and wild places.

When and where is the event?

The WCS Run for the Wild at the Bronx Zoo takes place on Saturday, April 24th, 2021. The 5K run start times happen every 30 minutes between 8:00 – 10:00AM. The 3K Family Run/Walk start times happen every 30 minutes between 10:30AM – 12:30PM You may also participate on your own as a virtual runner.

How much does registration cost?

  • Individual Adult
  • $55
  • Individual Child
  • $45
  • Individual Senior
  • $45
  • WCS Member Adult
  • $45
  • WCS Member Child
  • $35
  • WCS Member Senior
  • $35
  • Virtual Runner
  • $15

All adults and senior registrants must also raise at least $35 before the run in order to participate.

What is included in the registration fee and required minimum fundraising?

  • Entrance to either the 5K or 3K Family Fun Run/Walk
  • Complimentary Bronx Zoo Admission, including all rides and attractions, and parking for the entire day
  • Post-run activities including light grab-and-go refreshments
  • A commemorative WCS Run for the Wild t-shirt and finisher medal

Are children permitted to participate? May I walk with a stroller?

Children can participate in the 3K Family Run/Walk at start times from 10:30AM – 12:30PM. You may also walk with a stroller in the Family Fun Run/Walk. Children under three years of age are free.

Is The WCS Run for the Wild a competitive race?

No. Both the 5K and 3K Run/Walk are non-competitive runs, however we encourage runners with children to join the Family 3K Run/Walk which is geared for running or walking at your own pace and a shorter distance. We encourage you to time yourself as there will be no time clocks available.

How long is the course and where does it pass through?

The 5K course is five kilometers, or 3.1 miles. The 3K course is 3 kilometers, or 1.86 miles. Both are set within Bronx Zoo grounds.

Can I register on the day of the event?

No. There will be no day of registration available due to limited capacities. You must be a registered participant (and have met the minimum fundraising amount, $35) prior to arrival.

Can I fill out my registration and pledge form by hand instead of online?

No, registration is online only. Pledges must be received by mail or credit card transaction prior to April 24, 2021.

What is the refund policy?

There are no refunds on registration fees or donations for WCS Run for the Wild.

After registering, can I switch my selected course and/or time selected?

No. Due to strict capacity limitations per course selection and heats, you will not be permitted to switch courses or times. The bib you receive corresponds to the time you requested. You will not be permitted to run or walk in any other time other than what you selected at registration.


When and where do I pick up my run bib and t-shirt?

All bibs and t-shirts will be mailed to individuals (during the weeks of April 5 and April 12) who have met their fundraising requirement prior to April 4. Individuals who have not met the April 4 deadline will be charged to the credit card used during registration so that t-shirts and bibs will be mailed to you the week of April 19.

Without a race bib, you will not be permitted to participate. Race bibs will be specific to the time slot selected during registration.

How do I get there and where do I park?

8:00am – 10:00am participants (5K Run) MUST enter the Bronx Zoo via the Bronx River entrance. Get directions via Google maps.

10:30am – 12:30pm participants for the 3K Family Run/Walk MUST use the Southern Blvd parking lot. Gate C can be found at 182nd Street and Southern Blvd. Get directions via Google maps.

Parking & Entrances Please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your start time. You will be required to remain in your vehicles until 10 minutes prior to your selected start time.

Are spectators permitted to watch me run?

Due to limited capacities, there will be no spectators permitted. All guests on April 24, 2021 must be a registered RFTW 5K or 3K participant.

Do I have to pay for zoo admission?

No, your registration fee includes complimentary Bronx Zoo Admission, parking and all access to rides and attractions for the day.

Do I get a Run for the Wild T-shirt?

Adults and seniors must meet their required $35 fundraising target for wildlife in order to receive a 2021 WCS Run for the Wild T-shirt (children's registration fee includes t-shirt). Sizes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. (Registration fee does not count toward fundraising goals or prizes.)

Will there be breakfast?

Light refreshments will be available to participants at the post-run activity center in Fountain Circle.

What happens if it rains?

The run will take place rain or shine.

Can you bring your bag to the event?

All participants will be subject to bag searches at all point of entry to the Bronx Zoo. In order to expedite the process, we strongly advise that you limit what you bring into the park and if possible, leave items in your vehicle. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Will there be a bag check?

No, bag checks will not be available.

Can I stay in the zoo after the run has ended?

Of course! Stay the day to unwind, meet our animals, and enjoy our restaurants and shops. Your registration fee includes general admission to the Bronx Zoo which includes special attractions such as JungleWorld, Congo Gorilla Forest, Nature Trek, and the Children's Zoo.

Will there be any on-site First Aid provisions?

There will be a First Aid tent at the finish area to care for any minor injuries as well as an on-site ambulance for more serious injuries. In addition, each run will be trailed by a NYPD medic.


Will there be health screenings before participating in the RFTW?

We will be closely monitoring all CDC and NY State guidelines to determine best and safest practices. This may include temperature screenings. All participants are required to sign waivers during registration that addresses pre-screening requirements.

Will face-coverings be required to participate?

Yes, all participants will be required to wear face-coverings (masks) as per CDC and NY State guidelines at the time of the RFTW date.

What if NYS public health conditions worsen?

We will be closely monitoring all CDC and NY State guidelines to determine best and safest practices. In the event that NYS institutes new restrictions, WCS reserves the right to make this a completely virtual event.


What is a wave start?

Runners line up behind the starting line according to their pre-registered time slot.

How do I line up?

Participants will be allowed to start lining up 10 minutes prior to your selected start time. Bronx Zoo staff will guide you to your socially distance markers (6 feet apart from other participants). For each start time, there will be a total of 500 participants permitted to run in a series of 5 per line and 20 seconds in between each group/heat.


What is the required fundraising target and how do I meet it?

There is a minimum requirement of $35 for adults/seniors and we also suggest an individual fundraising goal of $300.

What if I don't meet the fundraising minimum?

If you do not meet the $35 fundraising requirement prior to April 4, 2021, the remainder of the requirement will be charged to the credit card that you used during registration. Please note runners who are part of a team need to have their fundraising requirement credited to their individual fundraising page.

Where do I drop off my pledges?

All pledges must be received in advance of April 24, 2021 by mail or by credit card transaction over the phone.

Does my registration fee apply toward fundraising prizes?

No. Your registration fee does not apply toward fundraising prizes.

If my team reaches the suggested fundraising goal, will everyone on my team receive the prizes?

No. Fundraising prizes are awarded to individuals who meet the required level to earn that prize.

If I register under an existing corporate team, am I entitled to the prizes that the team's fundraising efforts achieved?

No. Fundraising prizes can only be earned by individuals, not teams.

Who can I contact for general information concerning the run?

Please contact runforthewild@wcs.org or call 718-220-5112 Monday - Sunday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

If someone mistakenly makes a donation on behalf of a team instead of an individual on a team, can that be fixed?

Yes, in the event that a gift needs to be reassigned, please email runforthewild@wcs.org.

Does the WCS Run for the Wild accept matching gifts?

Yes, Please check with your employer about matching your gift to the WCS Run for the Wild. Matching gift forms can be emailed to devcontribs@wcs.org or mailed to

2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10460
Attn: WCS Run for the Wild.

How will I be able to claim my prize(s)?

If you have qualified for prizes based on your personal fundraising success, you will either need to print your fundraising total from the Participant Center and bring it with you on the day of the Run to claim your prize(s) or log into the app and display it on your phone. Prizes will be available during post-run activities in the zoo. There will be a pick-up area near the Finish Line, at the Schiff Great Family Hall located on Astor Court. If you are dropping off donations on site, you will receive an updated certificate reflecting your qualified level of prizes at the Pledge Tent.

Activity Points prizes will also be available at the Schiff Great Family Hall. You'll need to show your prize notification email to redeem.

*Remember, fundraising prizes are awarded to individuals, not teams.

How do Virtual Participants claim their fundraising prizes?

Prizes for Virtual Participants will be mailed the week of April 26th.

Will I be eligible for prizes if I bring my donations on the day of the Run?

Yes. Donations will only be processed in the prize pick up area at the Schiff Great Family Hall located on Astor Court for upgrading prizes.

Can I send checks by mail towards my fundraising goal?

Yes, you can mail your checks to WCS 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460 attention: RFTW. Make checks payable to WCS Run for the Wild. We can also accept check in the prize pick up area. *All checks must be listed in your participant center prior to the event date.

What are activity points and how do I earn them?

Activity Points are points that are earned in the days leading up to the run for doing things like posting pictures/videos, sharing on social media, and telling a story - as well as fundraising and recruiting friends and family to participate. Every activity you complete gets you closer to being entered to win prizes. Be sure to check out the activities in the "Manage My Page" section of your personal page and complete them to earn points.

If I win an Activity prize, how do I claim it?

Points can be earned through April 18th. Winners will be announced the week of April 19th and prizes will be available for pickup at the Run on April 24th or will be mailed if you are a virtual runner.