SALINAS, Calif. - This Saturday's Salinas Valley Half Marathon has been canceled due to unhealthy air quality caused by the Soberanes Fire.
Organizers of the race made the announcement Wednesday afternoon in a press release.
"It is with regret that we announce this cancellation," said Doug Thurston, Executive Director of the Big Sur International Marathon, the parent organization of the Salinas Valley Half Marathon. "However, our first commitment is always to the health and safety of our runners and volunteers."
Thurston said the air quality along the race course moved into the "Unhealthful" range overnight Tuesday following a shift in wind direction. The race will notify all participants, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and venues of the cancellation as soon as possible.
There were approximately 1,000 runners registered for Saturday's race. Several hundred volunteers were involved as well.
Registered runners will have the option of deferring their entry to the 2017 Salinas Valley Half Marathon or receiving a free entry into this November's Half Marathon on Monterey Bay.
Race officials announced they will donate unused water, food, and other useful supplies to the firefighters battling the blaze.