"As of 3 am Sunday, 16 people were found dead and the rescue of the five missing people is under way".
"We express deep condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and the injured", the mayor said, via AP.
According to Chinese media reports, there was hail and strong winds in the mountains of Gansu on Saturday.
Veteran participants included Liang Jing, a well-known runner who won the 62-mile race in Ningbo.
But the weather caught them off guard, and on the morning of the race Saturday, he already sensed things were not normal.
Participants suffered from loss of temperature due to the sudden drop in air temperature.
The mountainous race was halted when some of the 172 runners went missing, and a massive rescue operation was launched.
At about 2pm (06:00 GMT), weather conditions worsened and the race was immediately called off as local authorities sent more rescuers to help, Zhang added.
Alberta reports 563 new COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths Sunday
Across Alberta, there are 17,675 active cases, down 1,138 from Wednesday, and 202,442 recovered cases, up 1,946. The R-value measures the number of people an infected person will spread the illness to on average.
At the news briefing on Sunday, Baiyin officials bowed and apologised, saying they were saddened by the tragic deaths of the runners and that they were to be blamed.
Video footage broadcast on state media showed emergency rescue personnel in combat fatigues carrying flashlights as they climbed through the rocky terrain at night. "When the wind was the strongest, I had to grasp the ground with both my hands to avoid being blown over", said a survivor, who requested anonymity.
"A few are unconscious and are foaming at the mouth", another runner wrote.
Meanwhile, the blame game has already started with the Chinese public directing their anger at the Baiyin government over the lack of contingency planning.
The Gansu provincial government has set up an investigation team to further look into the cause of the deaths, the People's Daily reported.
The region borders Mongolia and Xinjiang and is prone to earthquakes.
Deadly floods and landslides have hit the province in the past, with mudslides reportedly killing more than 1,000 people in one town in 2010.
Marathons and extreme sports have seen a surge in popularity among China's middle class in recent years. However, the sport has often been plagued by cheating scandals in China.