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.