Monday, April 26, 2010

But I Have Promises to Keep

With just 96 days to go until I run my marathon, you'd think injury would be the most worrisome thing on my mind (particularly given that three weeks into training, I've already fallen twice). Despite this, my biggest worry isn't physical, but fiscal: will I raise the $2150 we need to fund all four scholarships?

In the first 16 days of training, Run for Grub has raised $867, but while I'm gratefully showering karma points on everyone who's donated, my mind keeps wandering to the $1,283 left to be raised. To the 96 days left to raise it. To the mental math that tells me those figures translate to roughly:
  • $91.64 per week,
  • $0.56 per hour, or
  • less than a penny a minute.
Less than a penny a minute, people! Somehow the amount seems less daunting now, which is my cue to remind you that donations can be made with a credit card payment at

Want a suggestion about how to sponsor? Take a look at some of the options I've cooked up below:

YOUR BASIC FLAT FEE. Showing your love with a flat fee remains the easiest way to pledge, but read on for a few of the more fun ways to get involved (or scroll to the end for the basic per mile sponsorship amounts).

CONSOLATION CONTRIBUTION. This sponsorship level was detailed in a blog post about my second fall--ten bucks every time I go down like the proverbial ton of bricks. Two falls so far, and 96 chances to go kersplat again. Do you dare bet on a klutz?

DOUBLE DOWN. Even after reading my FAQ page, you remain skeptical about my ability to finish the race. I get that. So take the bet. Give me half of what you're planning to donate now and put DOUBLE DOWN in the comment field. On August 1--the day after I successfully finish the marathon, thank you very much--you'll make good on your bet by wiring the rest of the money or risk the wrath of the metaphorical goons I'll send to collect.

VIRAL CHALLENGE. Make a donation and pledge to go viral by getting ten people in your life to match your amount. When those same people ask you why on earth they'd give money to help some crazy lady they don't know run a marathon, tell them it's not about me, it's about how much Grub has meant to you. Then shoot them your best puppy-dog-would-like-table-scrap eyes. Said eyes are especially effective on mothers and animal lovers.

COOLEST ALTERNATIVE MOTHER'S DAY GIFT EVER. You've been there, done that wtih breakfast in bed, the flowers, the lunch out at an impossibly crowded restaurant. This year, ask your brood to show how much they appreciate you by making a donation in your name to the school that's meant so much to you. You can also tell them that we at Run for Grub firmly believe that your brood should tell you about said donation with an impossibly cute handmade card delivered along with breakfast in bed. Complete with a tulip in a bud vase. Because you deserve it, mom.

PAYMENT PER POSTS. Did a blog post I've written connect with you in some way? Make you laugh? Make you think? Make you dig out your Ramones album to listen to Beat on the Brat for the first time in more years than you'd like to admit? Grub Street's all about making us the best writers we can be, so make your contribution about the writing, too. I'll take my cue from iTunes: $0.99 for the everyday posts; $1.29 for the ones you really liked.

NOVEL IDEA. This one's for the people who know the lady behind the run and have expressed concern that training for a marathon and blogging about the process would eat into the time I have to revise my novel. This one's simple--a dollar a day for each day I write at least a page on my novel. The numbers will work out like this: $96 for 96 training days for (at least and hopefully more than) 96 pages. It should be noted that this is not a cumulative sponsorship-- for example, if five people choose this sponsorship category, I'm not on the hook for ten pages a day. That would be madness. For me anyway. More power to those of you who do manage that kind of productivity.

YOUR BASIC PER MILE SPONSORSHIP. As a first-time marathon runner, I'm of the firm belief that my miles are worth about a million dollars a piece, but there's a recession on, so I'm willing to negotiate. Here are some sponsorship levels:
  • A penny per mile = $0.26
  • 10 cents per mile = $2.62
  • A quarter per mile = $6.55
  • 50 cents per mile = $13.10
  • 75 cents per mile = $19.65
  • A dollar a mile = $26.2
  • Two dollars a mile = $52.4
  • Four dollars a mile = $104.8
  • $10 per mile = $260
  • $48.97 per mile = $1283
  • $1,000,000 per mile = $26,200,000
I know that the sponsorship level list gets kind of hope-springs-eternal toward the end, but you never know when a lonely heiress looking for a good cause is gonna happen along...

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, and independent writing center in Boston, MA. Sponsor the run at


  1. You've got this whole thing so sorted. You deserve an heiress! Thanks for running so hard for Grub, Cathy.