The race, scheduled for November 11, 2018, was cancelled Saturday evening due to unhealthy air quality.
MONTEREY, CA – The 16th Annual Monterey Bay Half Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, November 11th, was cancelled on Saturday evening due to unhealthy air conditions. On Saturday afternoon, wind patterns changed dramatically, blowing smoke from the Camp Fire, located in Butte County to the northeast, directly onto the Monterey Peninsula. After consulting with the organization’s medical director and the National Weather Service, race officials decided to cancel the event for the safety of the participants, volunteers, and spectators.
On Sunday morning, several thousand runners gathered in Custom House Plaza to enjoy the scheduled post-race festivities. Race partners, community members, and volunteers passed out shirts and medals, distributed food and drinks, and, by all accounts, threw a party for entrants who chose to stay in town after the cancellation was announced. Directly following the event, all leftover food was packed onto a truck and driven to Butte County where it was donated to displaced victims of the Camp Fire.
The Monterey Bay Half Marathon is produced by the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the health of the Monterey County community. The Big Sur Marathon Foundation carries out its mission by providing grants to local groups who volunteer at Foundation races throughout the year. This year, 66 volunteer groups were signed up to provide volunteer support for the Monterey Bay Half Marathon. The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is happy to report that, while many of these volunteer groups were called off from their race-day jobs, all 66 organizations will still be granted the full funding they expected to receive.
“Like the runners, we were sad we had to cancel the race but we knew it was the right thing to do for safety reasons,” said Doug Thurston, race director. “Our staff and committee had worked for many months preparing for the event. We appreciate the understanding, support, and concern of our entrants.”
Over the past few days, the Big Sur Marathon Foundation Governance Board and staff worked to develop a series of options available to entrants in the cancelled race. All registered 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon participants are now eligible to choose one of the five following deferral or donation options:
- Defer my 2018 Half Marathon entry to the November 10, 2019 Monterey Bay Half Marathon
- Defer my 2018 Half Marathon entry to the November 15, 2020 Monterey Bay Half Marathon
- Defer my 2018 Half Marathon entry to the November 14, 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon
- Donate $75 of my entry fee to a non-profit agency supporting Northern California Fire Relief
- Donate $75 of my entry fee to Monterey County charities funded by the Big Sur Marathon Foundation
Registered runners are invited to make their selection from the above list beginning today, November 14, 2018, and ending on December 31, 2018. Since the race was cancelled for health and safety reasons in response to a situation out of the organization’s control, race officials are pleased to offer the opportunity for entrants to run a future race at no charge. Many entrants expressed a desire to help those affected by the Northern California fires and other area non-profit organizations, as reflected in the donation options offered to entrants. The 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon will not be rescheduled, and refunds will not be offered. For questions regarding the cancellation and/or entrant deferral and donation options, please visit http://www.montereybayhalfmarathon.org/2018-half-marathon-cancellation-faq/.
About the Big Sur Marathon Foundation
The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create beautiful running events that promote health and benefit the community. Under the brand are four individual race weekends: Big Sur International Marathon in April, Run in the Name of Love 5K and 2K in June, Salinas Valley Half Marathon and 5K in August, and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon, 5K and 3K in November. In addition, the Foundation oversees the award-winning JUST RUN® youth fitness program. www.bsim.org
Hillary Fujii, Big Sur Marathon Foundation
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