Blistering winds struck the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser Saturday afternoon in San Jose, toppling tents and rattling runners to the point that the fundraiser had to shut down early.
Firefighters were called to assist, and two people suffered minor injuries related to the unexpected winds and toppling tents at Dartmouth Middle School, where the race was held.
Volunteers say the fundraiser was going well until the heavy winds struck.
"There was a big gust of wind that came along and it was swirling dust and it just picked up a lot of the big tents and starting throwing furniture and chairs and tents," participant Jenny Ventura said.
"It's like a big family here. It's like a big family reuninion," organizer Dawl Ullmark said. "We just want everyone to be safe, we don't want anyone injured, so we're going to call it a day.
There were more than 600 people registered to participate in the fundraiser. Relay for Life hosts a litany of races in more than 20 countries to raise money for cancer research and treatment. Typically, participants are clad in purple.