Carlsbad Marathon By:Strib Stribling

The last two months in Atlanta have been cold, wet, and dreary.  I generally consider myself a fair weather runner, but, thanks to my experience with the Carlsbad Half Marathon last year, I have been running a great deal.  I did not want a repeat of last year’s performance where as soon as I crossed the finish line, my body locked up and did not unlock itself for the next 10 days.  My training regimen has, therefore, changed from ice cream and In-N-Out Burgers to actually running multiple times a week, rain or shine.

This year was going to be different.  I was prepared, in shape, and it turns out, the weather I had been training in was exactly what we had the day of the race…cold and wet.  The one thing I was not counting on was my three-year old son, Win.

Win is a wonderful child and a delight for our entire family, but he is also a carrier of terrible viruses that can ruin your day, or potentially your race.  So, imagine my consternation when I gave him a hug as I was heading out for the airport, and he planted a large, virus-laden kiss on my lips.  There were simply not enough anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer immediately available to prevent whatever plague-like disease he had just given me.  I scrubbed the offended area until it was raw, but to no avail.

I was staying with a lovely family the first half of my trip.  For those of you not familiar with the Howards, get to know them because they rock!  There are tons of them, most of who have traveled to Swaziland with us.  They also have a heart for abandoned animals, and have a house full of rescues to prove it.  They have a giant lizard, two mice, a guinea pig, two lovebirds, and four dogs.  One dog is completely deaf, one is half blind, and one had just four teeth.  The birds do NOT love each other, and the lizard only comes out when it is 110 degrees in its cage.  The mice and guinea pig, it turns out, are “normal”.  It was like the island of misfit toys!

I was hoping my runny nose and cough was nothing more than allergies.  Turns out, I don’t have any.  But by Saturday I wanted to do nothing but stay in bed, which I knew would not happen.  I had meetings to attend, a dinner where I was the speaker, and a huge race to run the following day.

I thanked them for hosting me, and have been ardently praying since then that I did not pass on any germs.  I then went from the Howard’s house to the home of Matt and Lori Marschall.  They essentially plan and organize everything race related for our Heart for Africa runners and without them, none of it would work.  It turns out that Matt was just getting over a cold and had more pills, potions, and apothecary-like concoctions than Lance Armstrong.   I wasn’t sure how I would perform under the influence of so many drugs, but I really didn’t care.   I had run too far in foul weather to miss this race.

The Lord was good to me on the morning of the race.  He answered a lot of prayers by clearing up my sinuses, getting rid of my cough, and allowing me to run a race that was right in line with my training.  He also taught me a few things to remember for next year.  One, wear a hazmat suit when dealing with your children the week prior to an event that demands you be on top of things.  Two, In-N-Out Burgers and milk shakes are a better post race tradition than a pre race regimen.  And three, it is better to show up for a race sick than it is unprepared.  I managed to cross the finish line a little under 1:55, which is 8 minutes faster than my previous time.  I was sore, but my body did not go into lockdown.

Thank you to Marc and Melissa Howard and Matt and Lori Marschall for hosting me and taking care of me all weekend.  You were great hosts.  I would also like to thank the Marschalls, Munes, Goyettes, Heidemans, Jamie Albert, Sarah Daoust, and our countless donors, volunteers and runners who made the race possible.  Because of you and your efforts, we were able to raise a little over $25,000 for water projects in Swaziland, Africa.

Share on Facebook

The Carlsbad Marathon By: Strib Stribling

I am a fair weather runner.  I love running, unless it is cold and rainy outside.  In which case, I absolutely do not like to run, and will not do it even on a treadmill.  Unless you have a weapon, or are a bear, I am not running.  So, I hate to admit it, but my “training” for the Carlsbad Half Marathon took a nose-dive around the end of November.
Ian, Chrisy, Ian, and Strib on race day
I am sure you are saying to yourself, “But Strib, I thought your body was a temple!  I am shocked!”  Well, don’t be.  And quit gawking.   The week of the race, I did get on the treadmill.  Twice.  Before I open up the door so you can watch the Hindenburg go down, let me brag on the weekend itself, which was simply amazing.

Not only did Matt and Lori Marschall build a great bonfire at the beach on Friday evening, but they also hosted a wonderful carb-loading pasta party at their house on Saturday evening, and put together a great tent at the marathon.  They, along with the Munes and Goyettes, organized an amazing event for Heart for Africa, and the entire weekend was incredibly fun.  The conversation and fellowship with friends, both old and new, was unmatched.  We had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time around campfires, and I am fairly confident after listening to some of the surfing stories, that I missed my calling in life.  The weekend was wonderful, and then the race started.  So, let me back up just a little so that you, the reader, feel like you were there…

I do not get to spend a lot of time in California.  So, whenever I get the opportunity, I enjoy frequenting the local establishments.  In-N-Out Burger is one of my favorites.  I hit that place twice this past weekend.  Nothing spells a blue ribbon race like special sauce, fries, and cheese burgers.  Then, I managed to go out for a few “frothy beverages” Friday night with Ian Maxwell, Jimmy and Chrisy Wilferth just to make sure I had plenty of fuel to burn for the big race.  Finally, to cap off the strict training regimen, we went to bed around midnight Saturday, because 5 hours of sleep is more than enough preparation to get the body in top form.  Have I mentioned that I have never run 13.1 miles before, and had no idea what to expect other than tremendous pain and suffering?  I was not to be disappointed.  Next time, I am going to have to switch to the ice cream diet to make sure I maintain elite athletic performance.
The actual day of the race was awesome.  It had warmed up a little so that it was no longer freezing or raining.  And, I am proud to say, that I ran a great first 9 miles or so.  Then, the holes in my training began to shine through and I could to feel myself slow down with each passing step.  Choking on water at various rehydration stations did not help my time much, but there is no way I was going to stop for a few sips of water.  At this point, I knew that if I slowed down to drink, I would not be able to get things moving again.  All the people that I had hitherto passed, began passing me.  I just had no more gas in the tank.  There was nothing I could do to slow them down, other than to take out the group of 50-year old ladies who passed me in mid conversation.  I am not sure how they talked the whole time, or had enough words to cover that distance, but they outpaced me.
So, I finished the race, it just was not very pretty.  And I have not been able to get out of bed since.  My lovely wife has been mocking me, threatening to get me a cane so that I can go up and down the stairs.  I am confident that in a week or two I will be fine, and that my toe nails will eventually grow back.  I have a good feeling about next year, and am confident that my new ice cream training regimen will be superior to this one.  Who wants to join me?!

My issues aside, thank you to all of our runners, supporters, donors, volunteers, fundraisers, and hosts for making this weekend so much fun, and so successful.  We could not have done this without your leadership and generosity, and are grateful for the sacrifices you made for this to happen.  We cannot wait to join you again next year!

To view more pictures of the Carlsbad Marathon and Californian fun please CLICK HERE.

Share on Facebook

Join Heart for Africa at the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon

Heart for Africa is happy to join with the amazing team at the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon for the fourth year as an official charity. During the past three years, we have had hundreds of people run and walk the marathon for Heart for Africa in Carlsbad, California. And we know that this year will be no different.

Registration is open for the marathon on January 23, 2011 in Carlsbad, CA. Last year, the Heart for Africa team raised over $25,000. And this year, we have an even bigger challenge…$30,000! That is a big goal for a small team, but with many runners/walkers raising funds together we know that we can reach our goal.

This year, the Heart for Africa Carlsbad Marathon team will be “Running for Water”. Water that can change the lives of the children of Swaziland.

Project Canaan in Swaziland is a large scale farm and soon-to-be children’s home owned by Heart for Africa. We have made great strides in development in the past year. But we still have a long way to go. We need to provide proper water and irrigation for the farm so that we can plant and harvest food year round. Right now, because of the lack of proper irrigation, we are limited to one growing season per year. This has to change to begin to address the food issue in Swaziland.

We hope that you will plan to join us in Carlsbad on January 23, 2011 either as a runner/walker of the full or half-marathon or as a volunteer passing out water and giving support along the course.

If you plan to run/walk, you need to register soon and get your fundraising page set up. The half-marathon always sells out very early. So register today at Just click the “Register for this Event” button at the top.

Would you rather volunteer? Send an email to and we will be in touch.

We understand if you can’t join us in Carlsbad. Please consider giving to help the team reach our goal of $30,000. Donate today at

Share on Facebook

Run with Heart for Africa in the Carlsbad Marathon

Heart for Africa is excited to be an official charity in the Carlsbad Marathon for the 3rd year. The marathon has been a great partner with Heart for Africa in the southern California area. In the past two years, over 150 people have supported Heart for Africa as they ran the half and full marathon. By running for Heart for Africa, these athletes have raised over $30,000 to help further our work in Swaziland and Kenya. In addition, they have raised awareness in the Carlsbad/San Diego area for the issues facing the children of these countries.

In 2010, we hope to take it to a new level with the Carlsbad Marathon. We are hoping to raise $20,000 for Heart for Africa’s “Celebrate Litsemba” event that will be held in Swaziland in July, 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

Share on Facebook

Tags: ,