The Berkeley Half Marathon in 2017. Photo: Robert Smith

The annual Berkeley Half Marathon that was scheduled for Sunday has been canceled “due to unhealthy air quality conditions from the tragic fires in our state,” organizers said.

Runners who were expecting to take part in the 10K, 5K and 1K races will now need to wait to hear whether the event will be rescheduled for the spring.

“It will take some time to work out the details…We expect to have an answer within 30 days,” said Biofreeze Half Marathon organizers in a statement sent out Tuesday afternoon and posted online.

Last year, the marathon, which takes runners in a loop course on many closed-off streets throughout Berkeley, drew an estimated 9,000 runners.

Meanwhile, runners and other athletes at Berkeley public schools were also given a break or kept inside Tuesday.

For days now, the air quality in Berkeley has been stuck in the red, or “unhealthy,” range. The quality is expected to improve slightly Wednesday, with the forecast showing an elevation to the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range.

Winds carried particle pollution into the Bay Area from the Camp Fire in Butte County, now officially classified as the deadliest blaze in California history, with 42 reported deaths and many more people still missing.

Note: This story has been amended after the original article gave the incorrect date for the races. The marathon expo, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, is still set to take place. 

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Natalie Orenstein

Natalie Orenstein reports on housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. Natalie was a Berkeleyside staff reporter from early 2017 to May 2020. She had previously contributed to the site since 2012,...