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‘They feel like another family.’ Lee Kwangsoo bids farewell to ‘Running Man’ cast, crew on his final episode

By Hannah Mallorca Published Jun 14, 2021 9:59 pm

We will miss you, “Giraffe” Kyungsoo! 

After 11 years of laughter, Lee Kwangsoo announced in April that he would be stepping down from Running Man due to an ankle injury he got last year.

Running Man is a South Korean "urban action" variety show that features the cast competing in games and challenges. Since its first episode in April 2010, it has gained widespread popularity in Asia.

Prepare your tissues as SBS finally released Kwangsoo’s final Running Man episode yesterday, June 13.

(This article contains spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the episode yet, beware!)

The episode started with Kwangsoo planning a special race of memories with Running Man’s production staff. Even if they were feeling emotional, they wanted to make this episode a moment for the cast and fans to remember. 

Before the race started, Kwangsoo admitted that he wanted it to be held at the location where Running Man started filming 11 years ago. 

“Personally, I want it to feel like normal. That’s my honest feeling,” Kwangsoo admitted. 

Kwangsoo is part of the original cast members of Running Man along with host Yoo Jaesuk, singer Haha, comedian Ji Sukjin, singer Kim Jongkook, rapper Gary, and actor Song Joongki. 

"Even the staff members are sad for Kwangsoo's final recording. Let's talk about him a lot today,” Seokjin said. 

The race featured the cast and production staff sending Kwangsoo to “jail for 1050 years” after reviewing his mistakes throughout his 11 years on the variety show. 

One of the most heartwarming moments featured the cast playing a game about Kwangsoo. Some of the questions included the name of his father and his favorite moments on the show. 

The final part showed Kwangsoo and the cast members writing heartfelt letters to each other. He also received a bouquet and other gifts from the production crew. 

“It will feel empty without you, but you should do all the things that you wanted to do now without worrying about us. Let’s see each other often, and call me when something happens. Thanks to you, it was never dull,” Jaesuk said, holding back his tears.

Even if cast member Song Jihyo was already crying, Kwangsoo made her laugh when he couldn't understand the handwriting on her letter.

"I still can’t believe that you, who has always been there, won’t be there anymore. I feel like it will all collapse once I realize it, but visit us whenever you’re sad. I love you," Jihyo wrote. 

The atmosphere was sentimental as Kwangsoo read his final letter to the cast. 

“The members helped me get to where I am today. They feel like another family, and I am so grateful to them… Running Man is a show where everyone does their best by throwing themselves into filming. I ask for people to show more love and interest in the future,” Kwangsoo said. 

A report from Korea Portal said a former Running Man producer has nothing but praise for Kwangsoo. The producer complimented Kwangsoo for his professionalism and he "did an amazing job for such a long time."

It will be hard to watch Running Man without Lee Kwangsoo being teased for being “very tall,” his sense of humor, and moments of epic failure. Even so, we hope the show gave him a lot of happy memories to remember. 

A virtual fan meeting for Filipino fans was held in September 2020 due to the indefinite postponement of its live event. 

Missed Kwangsoo’s final Running Man episode? You can watch it here.