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HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) - The Shawnee Marathon has become an official qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.

Race director Rebecca Nevitt says the course of the southern Illinois race last fall was officially certified and the event was professionally timed - both are Boston Marathon criteria.

The scenic route in the Shawnee National Forest runs from Southeastern Illinois College to the town of Equality and back.

Officials expect the Boston connection to be a draw for runners to the Shawnee race Oct. 25. Runners meeting specific times for their age and gender will quality for Boston.

Harrisburg physician Larry Jones ran the concurrent half marathon last fall. He says the course is scenic and fairly flat. He says community support from civic groups has been "outstanding."

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Online: http://www.shawneemarathon.com

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