I remember the first episode when it was aired in July, 2010 and remember when all of you met the first time. At the time it was 7 - Yoo Jaesuk, Ji Sukjin, Lee Kwangsoo, Kim Jongkook, Gary, Haha, and Song Joongki. I remember how awkward everyone was with each other and even I too doubted myself if this program would last.
In subsequent episodes, Jihyo would join as a permanent member, Lizzy was present temporarily, and eventually due to schedules Lizzy and Joongki had to leave.
And for the next 5-6 years, we were left with our Running Man family - 7012 (our favorite number). After shows like Family Outing and Invincible Youth were over, I never thought I would find another variety program I loved as much as I did with Running Man.
You made me laugh out loud. You made me cry. You made me cringe at the cheesiness. You made me double over in laughter and tears. All 7 of you have grown so much in the past 6 years and gave so much laughter and joy to all of your viewers. You helped spread the Hallyu Wave. Wherever you went, people knew you and people screamed in joy. You showed us the meaning of family.
Every single nickname that was made are still etched in my heart - from Yoomes Bond to Haroro to our Race Starter to our Giraffe to our Tiger to our Random Mr. Capable to our Ace to countless and countless of other nicknames made - you have all done amazing.
While Running Man seems to have been on a slope in terms of missions and directings these days, I and many others hung on because of you, our members. You are the reason we still love Running Man today.
I was shocked at the news that came in the days before. And while I hate to see Running Man, I am glad that it is ending on a good note. I would rather have my favorite show end as a family, as 7012, then apart and broken.
So thank you Running Man. While I already anticipate tears coming in Feb 2017 when the curtain finally closes, I hope you remember that all of you left such an amazing legacy. I hope Gary can also come out to this finale.