A statement released Dec. 20 officially canceled the 2018 Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon, after its original notice of cancellation on Nov. 17 due to “hazardous air quality.”
Registered runners for the 2018 race were given the option to defer their entry until 2019, 2020 or 2021. After considering the schedules of its partners, the Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon canceled the race when no dates aligned, according to head of marketing Melissa Faukner. The next half marathon will take place Nov. 17 2019.
“As a competitive athlete in Berkeley, this race means a lot to me … I definitely get why participants would be upset and I am too. There are many people who have trained so hard for this race and, because people are graduating/moving away this year, they may not be able to experience the joy of running the Berkeley Half (again) unfortunately,” said marathon ambassador Shellin Chuong in an email.
Campus senior and co-president of the Cal Running Club Christopher Stefan said that he appreciated the option of deferring registration. He added that although he would not be in Berkeley to reap the benefits of the offer, he would be willing to participate in the marathon if he is ever back in Berkeley.
Although there will be no entry refunds, individuals who were registered for the 2018 marathon will still be able to get their medals, bibs and shirts.
After its initial cancellation, the marathon encouraged runners to donate to various relief platforms for families affected by the fires, according to Faukner in an email. She added that the Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon Exposition took place as scheduled in November and Sports Basement donated five percent of its sales from the event to the Camp Fire relief effort.
“We have seen longer and more impactful fire seasons the past couple of years,” Faukner said in the email. “While this is something we need to be aware of, it will not deter us from planning these races for our community.”