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If you’re competing in a race in Colorado Springs, where can you go to carbo-load before and recharge after?

Colorado Springs Races

Colorado Springs Races
Photo Credit: Pikes Peak Marathon | American Discovery Trail Marathon | XTERRA Trail Run

Colorado is a destination state for runners of all levels who seek to experience our beautiful terrain and meet other fitness-focused athletes. Though there are popular races throughout the state including the Bolder Boulder 10K, the Colorado Marathon, and the Leadville Trail 100 Run, Colorado Springs has a few of its own famed races.

Likely the most prominent race in Colorado Springs is the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. The Ascent, occurring this year on Saturday, August 20, is a half marathon beginning at the base of America’s Favorite Mountain and ending at the top, resulting in an 8,000-foot elevation climb. The marathon, which also includes both the ascent and the descent down the mountain, happens the day after and is one of the most physically challenging races in the nation. Not only do runners have to endure a sharp change in elevation, but they also have to prepare for dramatic temperature and weather changes along the way.

There are literally dozens of races in Colorado Springs every year. Here are a few of our favorites along with their 2016 date:


Where to Prepare

Load up on carbs the night before a race by visiting one of these local destinations offering pasta and other carb-rich dishes.

Paninos Downtown

604 North Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Colorado Springs Races-Prep Meal
Photo Credit: Paninos-Downtown

Hailing back to the 70’s, this family-oriented Italian restaurant serves up flavorful and fresh ingredients in heaping portions. You can’t go wrong with a Famous Panino, made with your choice of white or whole-wheat dough. These rolled and baked sandwiches are packed with vegetables and meat, and there are literally 30 different types of paninos to choose from – try to the Pesto Chicken, the Spaghetti Pie, or the Cowboy!


Adam’s Mountain Café

26 Manitou Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80829

Colorado Springs Races-Prep Meal
Photo Credit: Adam’s Mountain Cafe

A landmark among Manitou restaurants and Incline patrons, Adam’s Mountain Café proudly serves 100% GMO free ingredients as part of the Slow Food movement. Order the Rural Italian Lasagna, filled with mozzarella, ricotta, asiago, zesty house marinara, and organic spinach. Or, opt for the Thai Udon Noodle bowl made with shrimp, mango, red onion, and fresh mint.


Paravicini’s Italian Bistro

2802 West Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Colorado Springs Races-Prep Meal
Photo Credit: Paravicini’s Italian Bistro

This rustic and romantic corner restaurant in Old Colorado City prepares classic Italian dishes with bold spices and rich sauces. Paravicini’s was recently featured on Food Network’s Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives (read our post about it). Try the Shrimp Scampi Risotto, a rice dish with garlic butter basted shrimp and tomatoes or the Grilled Salmon, a fresh fillet of salmon on a bed of pasta topped with a lush sauce of garlic, Roma tomatoes, red onions, black olives, and capers.


Where to Replenish

Be good to your body after a race by nourishing it with vitamin-rich and natural foods at one of these restaurants.

Good Karma Coffee Lounge and Deli

110 Canon Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO 80829

Colorado Springs Races-Replenish Meal
Photo Credit: Good Karma Facebook Page

Located among the eclectic shops and eateries in downtown Manitou, Good Karma offers a variety of home-cooked food on a rotating menu. If you’re a sucker for a tasty breakfast like we are, try their Breakfast Burrito made with local sausage and green chili sauce. Order a bowl of curry carrot squash soup and grab a bag of cheese curds to go (the owner is from Wisconsin!).


Ola Juice Bar

27 East Kiowa Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Colorado Springs Races-Replenish Meal
Photo Credit: Ola Juice Bar Facebook Page

Ola is a small and modern juice bar located in the heart of downtown with a menu bursting with fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains. We recommend Estelle’s Acai Bowl made with bananas, strawberries, almond butter, and chocolate chips. Also, try “David’s” recovery juice made with greens, celery, bell pepper, cilantro, lemon, and jalapeño.


Natural Epicurean

1 Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Colorado Springs Races-Replenish Meal
Photo Credit: Natural Epicurean

One of the newest additions to The Broadmoor menagerie of culinary offerings, Natural Epicurean is located in Broadmoor West on the far side of the lake. Bright and fresh, this cafe serves more than just guests of the hotel. Stop in for the Roasted Pueblo Poblano Pepper, which is stuffed with red quinoa and cotija cheese, or try the Roasted Organic Beets made with avocado, lime, white cheddar, and cilantro with a jalapeño vinaigrette.


Nourish Organic Juice

303 East Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Colorado Springs Races-Replenish Meal
Photo Credit: Nourish Organic Juice

A lively and eclectic café located in downtown, Nourish offers an array of salads, smoothies, and freshly baked muffins. Relax after a long run with an Asian cabbage salad tossed with the lemon tahini vegan dressing, dehydrated kale chips, and a Chocolate River smoothie made with banana, cacao butter, sea salt, almond milk, and agave.


BONUS: Celebrate with a Beer

OK, let’s be honest…a lot of you would rather celebrate your race completion with a nice cold brewski than health food. And you deserve it after a long run!

Fieldhouse Brewing Company

521 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Colorado Springs Races-Reward Beer
Photo Courtesy of Fieldhouse Brewing Company

This husband- and wife-owned pub has the claim of being the first microbrewery in downtown after a 21-year dormancy and has 14 taps including three gluten free taps and a house made root beer. Toast your fellow runners with one of their flagship beers (we like the First Pump Milk Stout) or a seasonal beer like the Belgian Dubbel.


Whether you’re a serious competitor or just running for fun or to stay fit, the team at Rocky Mountain Food Tours wish you happy trails and happy eating local! Cheers!


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