www.groovekorea.com / June 2014 84 Edited by Jenny Na (jenny@groovekorea.com) COMMuNITy SHApE up AND FLy RIGHT Story by Anna Lignelet Griffths Photos by Kerrie matthee Seoul flyers is more than a club – it’s a big running family A wine dealer and four-star chef from Italy, a U.S. Army Ser- geant from Ohio, an upbeat university professor from Japan and California who loves pink, a Korean head of legal affairs for a major Korean company — these are just four profiles of the 300 active members of the Seoul Flyers running club, which is dedicated to the promotion of running, walking and general health and fitness. In the club, the expatriate nationalities run the gamut. There are mem- bers from all over the world, including Asia, Europe and North and South America. The thing that brings them all together is a passion for running. But the group is about more than sports. As former club president Eddie Booth once put it, “The Seoul Flyers are not just a running group; we’re a family.” Current club president Sam Brooks adds that the club has been able to serve as a bridge between expats living in and around Seoul and Korean people: “We want to be good neighbors and continue to contribute to Korean society in positive ways.” It is a volunteer organization whose membership is its most important resource, according to Brooks. “Without them we wouldn’t be able to provide social events, time trials or special activities that serve to enhance an already active running community in Seoul and South Korea,” he says. As for the physical aspect, Seoul Flyers is open to people of all fitness levels. Members have said they worried about joining because they would be looked down on for being too slow or unfit, but later found the oppo- site to be true. Members cheer each other on at every race and group event — no matter how big or small, and no matter their fitness level, running distance or physical ability. Member Anna Cottrell attests, “Seoul Flyers has provided an oppor- tunity to establish strong friendships and has aided me in reaching my racing goals.” Anna Lignelet Griffths is the Seoul Flyers’ membership coordinator. — Ed.