come Move for mental health at the DC Gaza 5K

The Gaza 5K is an annual walk/run hosted by UNRWA USA* that brings together members of the American community to show solidarity with Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip. After the run, stick around for an awards ceremony and a dabke dance party!


What is the inspiration behind the Gaza 5K?

The Gaza 5K was created in 2012 to fund UNRWA's Community Mental Health Programme (CMHP) and make access to mental health care a reality for all Palestine refugee children in the Gaza Strip.

In light of the UNRWA funding crisis and the deteriorating humanitarian conditions, we're fundraising to provide emergency assistance, including employing 25 UNRWA counselors -- refugees themselves -- to provide psychosocial support to Palestine refugee children and families in the Gaza Strip who suffer from trauma due to repeated Israeli military assaults and the continued blockade.


2018 DC Gaza 5K Race DEtails + LOGISTICS

When is the 2018 DC Gaza 5K?

This year’s event takes place Saturday, September 22, 2018 at the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.

Race day schedule

7:00 am: Gaza 5K packet and fundraising prize pick up
7:30 am: Roads close
8:00 am: Opening ceremony
8:30 am: Race begins
9:30 am: Roads re-open
9:30 am: Awards ceremony followed by a dabke party
10:30 am: Time for brunch!

Where is the 2018 DC Gaza 5K?

To get to the right spot in the park, map yourself to:

Anacostia Park Boat Ramp
1500 Anacostia Drive Washington, DC 20020

How do I get to the event and where can I park?

By public transit

If you are using public transit, the park is a 1.1-mile walk from the Potomac Ave Station (Orange line).

By car

If you are traveling by car, to navigate your way to the race, put 1500 Anacostia Drive Washington, DC 20020 (Anacostia Park Boat Ramp) in Google Maps or Waze (do NOT use Apple Maps as it will take you to a completely different side of the park).

Free parking

There is ample free parking around the Anacostia Roller Skating Pavilion, but you must park by 7:30 am because the road will close after that time because participants will be running on the street. 

Access in and out of the park

If you arrive late, you will not be able to park in these lots and should anticipate having to walk a far distance to reach the starting line.

If you need to leave early for any reason, you can exit the park on foot, but you will likely not be able to drive out of these parking lots until 9:30 am when the roads re-open.

For real-time updates

Like our page on Facebook and mark yourself attending on the official Facebook event page for real-time updates!


Registration + Donations

Can volunteers also be registered participants? 

  • No, volunteers are not allowed to be registered participants. If you’re interested in volunteering, apply here

Is my registration tax-deductible? 

  • No. Registration fees are not tax-deductible, however, any donations that you make to your own fundraising account may be tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 

I can’t make it, or I don't live in the area, can I still make a donation? 

  • Of course! You can register as a virtual walker and start raising funds! You can also make a donation to any team or individual on the registration page. 

How do I register? 

  • You can register as an individual or as a team and set up your fundraising page through our online platform!

What is a virtual walker?  

  • The virtual walker registration gives someone the opportunity to fundraise without having to physically participate in the event.

What do I get with registration? 

  • Registrants get a packet, an UNRWA USA tote bag, and a bib with your assigned number. Unlike past years, each individual must fundraise a minimum of $50 (beyond the cost of registration) via their personal fundraising page to receive an official Gaza 5K shirt. 


FUNDRAISING Teams

Can I make my own fundraising team? 

  • Yes! As they say, two heads are better than one. This can also be the case when it comes to online fundraising. While every individual effort counts, sometimes it is best to combine forces and become part of something bigger. There are two different ways you can fundraise as team:

  1. Create your own team — choose this option when you hit the registration button.

  2. Join a team — if a team already exists that you want to join, you can pick it when you register.

If you choose to fundraise as an individual, and forget to join or create your team, don’t worry! You will still have the option to join or create a team once you have you have created your personal fundraising page.

Fundraising + PRIZES

Are there fundraising requirements?

  • The 2018 DC Gaza 5K does not have a fundraising minimum to walk/run, but we encourage all our participants to raise as many funds as possible as the Gaza 5K helps to fund UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Programme to provide psycho-social support to refugee children in Gaza.

  • When you register, a fundraising page will automatically be created for you. Login to your page here and use these resources to help kickstart your fundraising.

How can I earn a Gaza 5K shirt and other fundraising prizes?

  • If you meet certain fundraising levels, we offer some pretty cool perks (some restrictions apply):

    • $50+ can earn you an official Gaza 5K t-shirt

    • $500+ can earn you a Hirbawi keffiyeh

    • $1,000+ can earn you a olive tree planted in Palestine

What competitive prizes are being awarded?

Competitive awards will be given to the top female and male runners in the following age categories: 1-12, 13-19, 20-39, 40-59, and 60+. Trophies will be awarded for coolest costume, most marvelous “dabke” dancer, most creative team name, biggest crew, cutest four-legged participant, top fundraiser, top fundraising team, and most team spirit.


2018 DC GAZA 5K Packet-pick up

When can I pick up my registration packet? 

We strongly encourage you to pick up your packet prior to race day (Saturday, September 22). If you can’t make it before race day, we will have your packet available the morning of, but please arrive at 7 am in order to prevent race delays.

To avoid long lines and race delays Saturday morning, please plan to stop by one of the three packet pick-up locations on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday to pick up your race bib, shirt (only if you fundraised $50+) and other swag/prizes beforehand:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
WeWork Building - Dupont - 12th floor
1875 Connecticut Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Thursday, September 20, 2018
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Road Runner Sports
1120 W. Broad Street
Falls Church, VA 22046

Friday, September 21, 2018
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center
1100 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

If you’re picking up for another runner or a team, please have their names and shirt sizes available (if they earned one). The race is chip-timed, so don’t forget to bring your race bib with you to wear on race day, otherwise, you will not be timed.


General FAQs

How long is a 5K walk/run?

  • A 5K course measures 3.1 miles long. 

I’m not a runner, can I still take part? 

  • Yes, the 5K is open to runners and walkers alike! 

Can I bring my kids? What about dogs? 

  • Yes! Bring the whole family, even your furry four legged family members. Strollers are welcome!

Can I ride my bike? 

  • Unfortunately, Parks Department regulations do not allow participants to ride bikes on the 5K course. 

Is the race timed? 

  • Yes! The race is professionally timed for all participants. 

Can I store my personal items somewhere?

  • Storage space for personal items is not be available at the park, so please leave your valuables at home.

In event of inclement weather what is UNRWA USA’s policy about Gaza 5K cancellations? 

  • Our event will go on as planned, rain or shine, unless conditions are deemed unsafe by the Parks Department. If the parks department makes that decision, UNRWA USA will immediately inform registrants via email. 

Can I be issued a refund in the event I cannot attend the race or event cancellation? 

  • Because all funds go directly on to CMHP in Gaza, no refunds will be issued for the Gaza 5K.

Can I transfer my registration to someone else? 

  • Yes. If you're registered for the race, you must communicate this to the Gaza 5K staff by 5 days prior to the race. 

Can other organizations pass out flyers and/or pamphlets at the Gaza 5K? 

  • No, unfortunately due to park rules no solicitation of any kind is allowed at the Gaza 5K. 


What if I have a question that is not answered here?

Please email us at info@unrwausa.org for any unanswered questions you have.


*UNRWA USA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports the work of UNRWA in the United States through fundraising, advocacy, and outreach. UNRWA USA aims to promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees by informing the American public about UNRWA's work and generating support for its programs in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Learn more at unrwausa.org