Energy For The Long, Long Haul


You’ve trained for months. You’ve laced up your new, but not too new, running shoes. Your personal records are taunting you from your Garmin-clad wrist. It’s time for the Garmin Kansas City Marathon! With a new route starting at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and beautiful weather for a run, the marathon is excited to welcome back runners.

Figuring out how to charge your nutrition for such a long race can be tricky, but Dave Borchardt, Race Director for the marathon, has a few tips. 

  • Only use what you’ve practiced with on previous runs. It can be tempting to try something new, but race day is not the time for experimentation.
  • Look for easily digestible carbohydrates. Low fiber, low fat, and low protein.
  • Too much fiber, fat, or protein can upset the stomach and cause GI issues.
  • Carbohydrates are essential. In endurance running, your body is depleted of glycogen. Fueling every few miles prevents you from completely running out and hitting “the wall.”

Luckily, Dee Patel, owner of The Pantry KC, has concocted these delicious pumpkin power bites that will keep you going for miles. Plus, they are gluten-free, vegan, and contain superfoods like cinnamon, almonds, and chia seeds. Whip up a batch, and good luck on the course! 

Pumpkin Power Balls

2 ½ cups plain quick oats (gluten-free)
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup chia seeds
1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter if you prefer)
½ cup vegan white chocolate chips
1 Tbls ground cinnamon 
¼ tsp ground cloves 
¼ tsp nutmeg

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir using a spatula or your hands until all the ingredients are well mixed. 
  2. Using a 1 oz. scoop, measure the dough into equal-sized portions. This recipe will make approximately 30. 
  3. Roll the portions into a ball using your hands. If the mixture is too dry and doesn’t hold shape, add another tablespoon or two of the almond butter. If it is too wet – add another half cup of oats. 
  4. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator before transferring to an air-tight container. Balls should keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 
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