The Two Bear Marathon and Half Marathon are canceled due to wildfire smoke, organizers announced Friday.
The races were scheduled for Sunday in Whitefish. Wildfires engulfing the region have created hazardous smoke conditions. Organizers were monitoring the conditions in recent days and said they would base their decision on air quality, which is currently listed as “very unhealthy” by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
“After much consideration, we will be cancelling the Two Bear Marathon due to wildfire smoke and forecast fire danger. As always, the health and well-being of our runners and volunteers is of the utmost importance,” Race Director Jacob Deitz said in the announcement, which went to race participants and volunteers.
“We are beyond thankful to the community, who came out in strides to help pull off this year’s marathon; we look forward to work on next year’s run, and hope to make it an even bigger community event.”
Those in the area are still invited to attend the racer BBQ on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Depot Park in downtown Whitefish.
Runners can have their registration deferred to next year or receive a refund of 20 percent of the entry fee. Runners can also donate their registration to The Wave’s scholarship fund, which is the benefactor of proceeds from the race.
The Montana Dragon Boat Festival in Lakeside was canceled as well. Organizers announced the decision on Sept. 6. The Flathead Invitational high school cross country meet scheduled for this weekend was also canceled.