Shawnee Marathon Receives Boston Qualifier Status
After a successful inaugural race last fall, the Shawnee Marathon recently received status as an official Boston Marathon qualifier race, according to race director and owner Rebecca Nevitt.
Nevitt, who also serves as an adjunct fitness instructor for Southeastern Illinois College and as director of the Harrisburg Parks Department, said she had long viewed the area as perfect for a marathon, and that the Boston qualifier status was a focus early on.
“From the time I first visited this area, I knew it would be the perfect venue for a half and full marathon distance race. I began mountain biking and spending time in and around the Shawnee National Forest, and ultimately found the perfect course from SIC to Equality and back,” Nevitt said. “The qualifier status was the goal from day one in the planning process. I made sure we met the Boston Marathon qualifying criteria prior to launching the Inaugural Event. The criteria includes that the course must be USATF Certified and the race must be professionally timed.”
The qualifier status is expected to be a huge draw in attracting runners for the next race, which is scheduled for Saturday, October 25. Runners in that event will officially qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2015 if they meet time standards for their age and gender group.
Harrisburg physician Larry Jones ran the half-marathon that was held concurrently last October, finishing first in his group.
“The Shawnee Marathon course is quite scenic and fairly flat, with just a few hills,” Jones said. “The community support from various civic groups, churches, and businesses has been outstanding. To become a Boston Qualifier is every marathoners dream. Thanks to Rebecca Nevitt, we now have a first class event in which local runners can qualify for the Boston Marathon.”
Southeastern Illinois College served as the starting point and hub for the inaugural 2013 Shawnee Marathon.
“This is a high honor in the racing world,” Nevitt said. “We’ve put on a world class event and it’s paid off!”
Information about the Shawnee Marathon can be found at www.shawneemarathon.com.