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[Video] Salaried workers driving out stress with ‘Running Crew’

Around 7:50 p.m. on Oct. 19, clusters of people in sportswear gathered in front of Samseong Station, Exit No. 1. After putting their belongings in the crew’s vehicles, the runners headed to Coex Square together to do some warm-up exercises at 8 p.m.

The Korea Herald ran with 98 runners from Samseong Station to Seocho Station, taking part in the “Run&Walk” program designed for beginners. It was an exhilarating experience to run in a city with so many people.

There are a number of running crews in the city, and The Korea Herald joined one of the hottest. Known as CrewGhost, it has almost 10,000 registered members, and about 7 to 8 percent of its members are foreigners. 

Shouting slogans to cheer each other on and giving signals to warn pedestrians, the runners were an impressive sight. All the runners miraculously kept pace. 

Running has become a megatrend and an increasing number of people are running after work. As people pay more attention to work-life balance, running seems to be a popular way to spend the “life” part.

“Unlike other sports, running can be done in our daily lives without restrictions like time and space,” said Shin Cheol-kyu, 42, the leader of CrewGhost. “So, foreigners who want a different perspective of Seoul through running and local workers who want to banish stress, just download the application.”

Shin took the lead by creating the mobile application CrewGhost, for anyone who is interested in running but having difficulty finding information about running crews and their activities.

CrewGhost actively makes use of social media platforms such as Instagram(@crewghost) to communicate and share event schedules. That’s part of the reason it has so many registered participants.

“Running through city was awesome. There were a lot of people and it is great to see all the sights through Gangnam,” said Robert Evans, a photographer who came to Korea five years ago. He said he wanted to take part regularly, since there aren’t many running groups with this many members or with programs that are so well organized. 

CrewGhost runners dash across a crosswalk.(CrewGhost)
CrewGhost runners dash across a crosswalk.(CrewGhost)

Most of the participants are young local workers. On Mondays and Thursdays after work, they head straight to the gathering place, which is announced in advance through the CrewGhost application.

Jang Seok-hee, an IT industry worker in his 40s who has been running with CrewGhost for more than a year, said, “Running mitigates my stress. (Also) running through like this allows me to see different views (of Seoul), which makes me feel so refreshed.”

By Yoon Yeun-jung (