Concord and Cashew Cheese Ball & “The Pros”

It is my absolute privilege to introduce “The Pros” – Kyle Dawson and Owen Dawson (twinsies). Let me just say, these two are the REAL deal and I’ve had the honor of watching them race for almost ten years. The first time I saw them run was in Portland, Oregon where they led their high school cross country team to victory at the 2006 Nike Team National Cross Country Championships (let’s just say they made a good first impression). Ya’ll, they were FIRST in the United States and from a small, humble town in Pennsylvania. It was one of those “life” moments.

They both then went on to run for THE Pennsylvania State University for my beloved Nittany Lions. Read here and here to learn more about their collegiate running careers. They both have since graduated and are training professionally.



Kyle and Owen have become good friends (Fun Fact: Kyle took me to his 2008 PSU Cross Country Formal – turns out, he can dance too) and a part of my family. I have come home many nights over the years to find them huddled around our kitchen table over pizza and beer with my dad and brother telling stories of running glory loved, lost and reborn. The kitchen table has that power…

Cheese Ball 1


How long you’ve been running: 14 years
Favorite song/playlist: Grizzly Bear – Will Calls (diplo remix)
Favorite race EVER and Why: Penn Relays 2013 mile because I became the 401st American to break 4:00 in the mile
Shoe brand of choice: New Balance
Pre-race meal of choice: Oatmeal, an egg sandwich on an english muffin and coffee
Post-race meal of choice: Chicken, broccoli, and quinoa with a reduced red pepper vinaigrette sauce


How long you’ve been running: 14 years
Favorite song/playlist: Led Zeppelin: black dog
Favorite race EVER and Why: 2006 State XC Championships – we won the team title and set a record low score
Shoe brand of choice: New Balance (sponsor)
Pre-race meal of choice: Oatmeal and eggs for morning races, San Marco tortellini for night races or night before a morning race
Post-race meal of choice: Vanilla milkshake

Cheese Ball 2

Why did you first start running?

Owen: I first started running in middle school with my brother, Kyle. We were always active in sports growing up and competing in track and field was another sport to compete in during the spring.
Kyle: I always liked running fast and racing the bus down the block before school so I joined track in 7th grade and loved it ever since.

Cheese Ball3

What is the best running advice you’ve EVER received?

Owen: “Get out hard and stay with the leaders” -David Lapp. It reminds me to stay aggressive and commit to the race. It also motivates me during training. If I plan to compete that way, I must put in the hard work throughout the season.
Kyle: Get out hard it the beginning of a race. It sets your race up and keeps you out of trouble.

What is one thing that you’ve learned about running that you would like to share the MOST?

Owen: The only thing that will make you better is hard work. There is no cheating in running, you get out what you put in.
Kyle: Running progression is not linear. You have ups and downs and often will end up on a plateau for a while. Keep working and be consistent and you’ll eventually improve and have a big break through.

Cheese Ball 4

Favorite running quote?

“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” -Bruce Lee

To you boys…#winning.

Kyle and Owen 2

Description: Uhm, who doesn’t love a cheese ball?! This one is covered in sweet concord grape goodness and nuts. C’mon, nuts.


Concord and Cashew Cheese Ball


1 1/2 cup concord grapes
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup chopped cashews
8 oz. cream cheese


1. Ensure all stems are removed from grapes. Combine grapes and OJ in food processor and pulse till smooth.
2. Place mixture in sauce pan over medium high heat. Add sugar. Wait until it comes to a roaring boil and then reduce. Simmer 20 minutes.
3. Form cream cheese into ball. Once mixture has thickened, pour over top of cheese ball and sprinkle with cashews.
4. Enjoy while still warm!

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”

-Mark Twain


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