Events called off:

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - SPORTING GREEN - By Wendy Lee

Virgin fit­ness fes­ti­val among can­celled.

Virgin on Wed­nes­day night can­celed its in­au­gu­ral San Fran­cisco fit­ness fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing the Twin Peaks Mile and half marathon, sched­uled for this week­end, telling rac­ers and vol­un­teers that con­cerns about air qual­ity amid on­go­ing wild­fires played a role in its de­ci­sion.

Other recre­ational run­ning and cy­cling events planned for the week­end, in­clud­ing Tough Mud­der NorCal and the Coy­ote Ridge Trail Run, have also been can­celed. Or­ga­niz­ers for races later this month plan to mon­i­tor fire con­di­tions and air qual­ity be­fore de­cid­ing whether to can­cel events, ac­cord­ing to their web­sites.

Virgin’s half marathon in San Fran­cisco, held by Virgin Sport, the com­pany’s di­vi­sion that or­ga­nizes ath­letic events, was sched­uled to take place Sun­day and take crowds of run­ners through or past the city’s iconic sights, in­clud­ing the Painted Ladies, Pre­sidio and Golden Gate Park. The fes­ti­val also in­cluded a mile-long race up iconic Twin Peaks on Satur­day.

Mary Wit­ten­berg, Virgin Sport’s CEO, said in a note to vol­un­teers that the com­pany “did not make this de­ci­sion lightly, but it was the right call given the on­go­ing pub­lic health air-qual­ity is­sues as­so­ci­ated with the Napa and Sonoma wild­fires.”

The fires have caused the deaths of at least 31 peo­ple and de­stroyed 3,500 homes and busi­nesses.

“While the can­cel­la­tion is pri­mar­ily linked to the health and safety of all of you and our ath­letes, the de­ci­sion also means that Bay Area first re­spon­ders and re­sources are now free to fo­cus on those most in need,” Wit­ten­berg said in her note, which was ob­tained by The Chron­i­cle. “Our deep­est sym­pa­thies go out to the thou­sands of peo­ple im­pacted in th­ese deadly fires.”

Virgin Sport said paid par­tic­i­pants “will re­ceive a full re­fund and we will be shar­ing an up­date on the process in the com­ing weeks.”

Virgin Sport also will do­nate $25,000 to the Red Cross’ North­ern Cal­i­for­nia coastal re­gion chap­ter, and its part­ner, shoe seller ASICS Amer­ica, will do­nate an­other $25,000.

The can­cel­la­tion of the Tough Mud­der ob­sta­cle races sched­uled for this week­end in the North Bay was an­nounced on the Tough Mud­der web­site. No re­fund or reschedul­ing in­for­ma­tion is listed.

Coastal Trail Run’s Coy­ote Ridge race at Muir Beach in Marin County, which would have in­cluded five races rang­ing from seven miles to 50 kilo­me­ters Satur­day, was also called off per its web­site.

Sev­eral cy­cling events planned for this week­end, in­clud­ing the Ride for Bike­to­ber­fest in Marin County, have also been can­celed.

Among other events af­fected: An an­nual run in Tiburon to ben­e­fit the Reed Union School District, sched­uled for Fri­day, has been post­poned. The Ash­land Cher­ryfest FamFest 5K sched­uled for Satur­day in San Le­an­dro has been moved to Nov. 18.

Some runs were still on as of Thurs­day af­ter­noon, in­clud­ing Satur­day’s Pace for Peace 10K/5K in Liver­more. Or­ga­nizer Lisa John­ston said via email that the air qual­ity re­mained within an ac­cept­able range and a de­ci­sion would be be made Fri­day.

The Pride Run and Walk planned for Oakland’s Lake Mer­ritt on Fri­day will be held, with or­ga­niz­ers al­low­ing in­di­vid­u­als to de­cide whether to par­tic­i­pate.

Or­ga­niz­ers of the Napa Wine Coun­try Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K said on their web­site that they have not can­celed the Oct. 21 events yet, be­cause the lo­ca­tion had not been af­fected di­rectly by the fires, but race di­rec­tor Dave Horn­ing said by phone that he doubts the races will go on and ex­pects to let the 300 par­tic­i­pants know for sure by Fri­day.

Or­ga­niz­ers of the Healds­burg Wine Coun­try half marathon and 10K, sched­uled for Oct. 28, said on its web­site that they are mon­i­tor­ing con­di­tions. Chron­i­cle staff writer Henry Schul­man

con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Wendy Lee is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: wlee@sfchron­i­ Twit­ter: @thewendylee

Justin Sullivan / Getty Im­ages

Sir Richard Bran­son rides an ex­er­cise bike in San Fran­cisco in May as he an­nounces the in­au­gu­ral Virgin Sport fes­ti­val. The event has been can­celed be­cause of poor air qual­ity.

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