'An Indescribable Feeling' : PGA of America Members Share Why They Ran the New York City Marathon
By Salter Hydinger
Since 2017, over 70 PGA of America Golf Professionals have helped raise support and awareness for PGA REACH by running the TCS New York City Marathon. On the first Sunday in November, the 26.2-mile course touches all five boroughs of New York City – creating an unmatched experience for both the 50,000-plus runners and more than 2 million spectators.
For the seventh consecutive year, a national team of 17 PGA of America Golf Professionals will meet in New York City to run the race of a lifetime on Sunday, November 5. They have two goals in mind – to cross the finish line in Central Park, and achieve their team fundraising goal of $150,000 in support of PGA REACH’s mission of impacting lives through golf.
It has been runners in the past, like those featured below, that have set the standard, galvanized the impact of the race, and shared their stories. For them, their journey goes beyond their love of golf. Their decision to train and dedicate their time comes from their love of PGA REACH while instilling the values of the game of golf in fellow runners, supporters, and spectators every step of the way.
“My wife and I work very closely with PGA REACH programming and I have seen first hand what PGA REACH can do for Veterans and underserved communities. Having a cousin who served and struggles with some PTSD, my training journey and running the race gave me a deeper meaning and the opportunity to help raise awareness for a program that serves so many others. If I had to give advice to future runners, I would remind them to try to not put expectations on their times/pace and enjoy the ride because they are running for something much bigger than themselves.”
- TRENTON BLUNDELL, PGA
Director of Competitions, PGA of America
Runner - 2022
“There are many ways a person can support their favorite causes and charities. For me, being a lifelong runner, it was a great opportunity to run for PGA REACH alongside raising money for causes I had believed in for many years. Not a lot of people are able to combine their passions like I was able to. After running 25 miles without a spectator in sight, receiving the entire crowd’s support and knowing my team, who supported me throughout the entire journey, would be at the finish line is an indescribable feeling.”
- JOE ASSELL, PGA
Runner - 2017
“I ran the TCS NYC Marathon for three reasons. First, I was able to raise awareness and money for PGA REACH and their programs that mean a lot to me like PGA HOPE and PGA Jr. League. Second, I wanted to meet fellow PGA Professionals that shared my love for running and the game of golf. Lastly, the TCS NYC Marathon is one of the best in the world and it was an incredible experience to be a part of every step of the way.”
- ANGELA SCHMELZER, PGA
Director of Consumer Experience, PGA of America
Runner - 2022
“I have a few most memorable moments that come to mind when I think about the four times I have run the marathon. First, it was running and finishing my first NYC Marathon with Tim Fries from the Western New York Section. When Tim and I hit mile 25, we saw our wives together cheering us on, we all broke down crying hysterically! It still gives me chicken skin thinking about it today and we will be bonded forever from that. Second, the lasting special friendship I have with Kyle Heyen from the Colorado Section would not have been possible without the marathon. Kyle has always encouraged me from my first NYC Marathon in 2017 to our last one together in 2022. We would always text each other every week with encouragement and our bond that we have developed over the years is truly special to me. Having that special relationship with another PGA Golf Professional is amazing.”
- SCOTT ASHWORTH, PGA,
Director of Golf, Four Seasons Resorts Lanai
Runner - 2017, 2019, 2020, 2022
“My running journey essentially started by running a half-marathon with my sister. After running in a few other half-marathons I knew that I wanted to run a full marathon. When I found out about the opportunity to run in the New York City Marathon for PGA REACH, I knew I had to go for it. Something that will stick out to me from race-day was at the starting line when you hear Frank Sinatra singing ‘New York New York’ – you realize that all of your training has led up to this day so now it’s all about enjoying the race and finishing what you set out to accomplish.”
- CAITLYN DOYLE, PGA
Career Consultant, PGA of America
Runner - 2022
Support the 2023 PGA REACH TCS New York City Marathon Team and their journeys by visiting the Team’s Official Fundraising Page.