What It Means for ‘Run On’ to Point Out the Problems of the Sports Industry

Credit: JTBC

The drama Run On depicts a rather bitter reality. It shows a determination to voice out about the “uncomfortable truths” that we have been ignoring.

Credit: JTBC

On the 10th episode of JTBC’s Wed-Thurs drama Run On, Ki Seon Gyeom (played by Im Si Wan) reaches out to Kim Woo Sik (played by Lee Jung Ha), who decided to give up on running.

As the victim, Kim Woo Sik is a character who demonstrates the problems of the sporting industry. He exposes the consecutive assaults that were done to him within the national athletics team. However, the coach of the team asks him why he didn’t “endure it,” as he scars Kim Woo Sik with words more hurtful than the physical scars on his body.

Though Kim Woo Sik courageously voiced his own voice, he fails to eliminate the unethical problems which are deeply rooted within the sports community. The reality has not changed even as he attempts to let the world know about the unfairness. Frustrated by the cold reality in which he has not been compensated, he decides to quit running. This is because he was not confident to continue running while everyone looks upon him as an “internal accuser.” At the same time, Ki Seon Gyeom reaches out to him so that Kim Woo Sik could take a new leap forward.

Run On illustrates a reality in which those who should be protected, are not. It perfectly depicts the reality of “whistleblowers,” and how the victim must solely rely on their personal courage and voice to regain their rights. It gives an insight into how institutional policies are needed to protect these victims.

Kim Woo Sik’s situation in Run On certainly is not limited to the sports community. It would be a common case in our society as a whole. Run On is finally exposing such absurdity of society in which many of us have been neglecting. The show also contrasts the conflicting lives and values of ordinary, powerless, people and those who are wealthy.

Credit: JTBC

The story of Ki Seon Gyeom and Kim Woo Sik on Run On gave an insight into problems we could not solve in the past. Ki Sun Gyeom’s reached out hands towards Kim Woo Sik especially satisfied the viewers.


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