Despite Air Quality, Half-Marathon, Relay for Life Set to Go On

Two major outdoor events in which participants will be walking and/or running in the smoky air of Menifee will go on as scheduled Saturday, ...

Two major outdoor events in which participants will be walking and/or running in the smoky air of Menifee will go on as scheduled Saturday, organizers said late this afternoon.

As of 6:30 p.m. Friday, both the Menifee Half-Marathon and Relay for Life were still set to go off as scheduled. The Half-Marathon is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. in front of Mt. San Jacinto College, with runners competing either in the 13.1-mile race or the companion 5K run. Relay for Life, which raises funds to fight cancer, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day and overnight, with volunteers walking or running laps around the track at Paloma Valley High School.

There always is the possibility of last-minute postponements. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a smoke advisory for non-desert areas of Riverside County, urging people to avoid outside exertion because of smoke from fires burning to the south and being blown into the Menifee area.

"The Menifee Half-Marathon and 5K will take place as planned tomorrow," Connie Hall, event organizer, wrote in an email to Menifee 24/7. "Weather has the ability to change quickly and we will be holding our event as planned. We have been in touch with officials and at this time, see no reason not to go ahead with this event that supports local senior citizens and youth."

On the group's Facebook page, the statement is expanded to include the following:

"We are closely monitoring two different websites and maintaining communication with area fire personnel ... Unless there is a change, and we do not anticipate one, this will be our last post before the event."

The post does not list which websites the group is monitoring and Hall did not immediately respond to a request for additional information by Menifee 24/7.

Contacted by phone, Relay for Life Chair Jennafer Griswold said that event is still on as well.

Menifee 24/7 has received several complaints from residents about poor air quality that has worsened throughout the afternoon. Menifee Valley Little League posted on its Facebook page that games for tonight have been postponed.

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Menifee Relay for Life 510696989543908503

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