dkSez : : : : : : Don Kahle's blog

Quips, queries, and querulous quibbles from the quirky mind of Don Kahle

dkSez : : : : : : Don Kahle's blog random header image

RG20.3 make the marathon more fun

May 12th, 2008 by dk

Here’s an idea for the Eugene Marathon that could make it as fun as it is successful. It could draw more runners, and it would put an almost unique stamp on the race. It’s an idea borrowed from a smaller and much different race in Port Townsend, a place once described as “a drinking town with a tourist problem.” In a deliciously subversive twist to the competitive capitalist spirit, they give their highest award to the racer who finishes exactly in the MIDDLE — as many finished ahead as finished behind. They call it the Mediocrity Award. We can’t ask the race mavens to embrace such a quasi-competitive concept, but the race results are quantified and published, so a little Kesey-esque pranksterism would be easy to pull off. A separate group could promote the award to the Middlest Marathoner and give a prize that rivals the first place finish. Unofficial, unsanctioned, but acknowledged with a wink and a nod, not unlike the S.L.U.G. Queen at the Eugene Celebration. It sends a powerful message. We’re not elitist. Anyone can run our Marathon. And if you make it to the middle of the pack, well, that’s an accomplishment too.

Tags: 1 Comment

Leave A Comment

Are you human? *

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 BillThePoet May 31, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Clever and quirky idea. I like it.

    I’m a 10+ marathoner who has run in huge (40K) and small (0.4K) running fields. I’d love to run Eugene one day. Just in case I do, let me share a few things that would create buzz among marathoners like me

    1. Localize the pre- and post- race events. Corporate sponsorships pay the light bill, but local food, music, and activities are always appreciated and memorable. Knowing Eugene, this is already your strong suit.

    2. Give awards to community groups and neighborhoods that are on the race route. Spirit awards to school and church clubs. Block party awards for decibel levels, themes, music, etc. Prizes can be modest amounts of cash for clubs, and maybe pizza/catering for block parties.

    Well, you get the idea. dk and other Eugeniuses can brainstorm a million great ideas.

    I guess what I’m trying to communicate is that we slow-ish marathoners already know that “to finish is to win.” What we really love is to feel that the towns like us being there. Use the marathon as an excuse to get together, and we’ll join in.