Running for Korean Reunification

Myongku Gang (Photo via The Korea Times)

Myongku Kang (Photo via The Korea Times)

A Korean man in his 50s who lives in Bayside, Queens, is running from Los Angeles to New York, hoping for peaceful reunification between South and North Korea.

Myongku Kang, 57, who managed the Seoul Fusion Eatery in Astoria, has run in the New York area as an amateur marathoner. He will run 3,150 miles on his own for 120 days, with a poster stating his wish for peaceful Korean reunification. He began from Huntington Beach in Orange County on Feb. 1, and will proceed along a route that will take him to Flagstaff, Arizona, Oklahoma City, Nashville, Tennessee and New York.

Kang said on the phone on Jan. 1 before getting on a flight to California, “The story of Yi-joo Kwon from New York succeeding in his coast-to-coast trek in 2010 made a strong impression on me and led me to begin marathon running… While running marathons for six years, I resolved to go on this journey to set a meaningful challenge for myself that could bring a turning point in my life.”

Even though Kang has run for six years, which is not that long, he is a veteran of veterans, having finished a full marathon of 26 miles as many as 31 times. He also ran a 50-mile-long course on a mountain in 2012, which some professional marathoners don’t even dare to do.

That Kang would run alone without any assistants or supporting vehicles is drawing attention to his challenge. He wound up his business at the restaurant at the end of last year and underwent special training for this voyage.

Kang said, “I am going to run at least 26 miles a day, pushing a stroller containing emergency food, a sleeping bag, first-aid kit… My race path, which will be recorded through Global Positioning System (GPS), will be updated on Facebook every day after I finish running.” [Editor’s note: Kang updated his Facebook page on Feb. 10 by noting that he ran a total of 28 miles that day, beginning in Amboy, California, south of the Mojave National Preserve.]

“It has been 25 years since I immigrated to the U.S. and I am about to turn 60. I have been struggling to make ends meet without being able to relax for even a week… Via this challenge I want to be able to reflect on the past and have time to think about the future that opens a new door… I also want to publish a book about the 120-day journey after the coast-to-coast trek,” he said.

One Comment

  1. He stayed at my home for one night with my family and he was so kind, I cant wait to see him finish his journey!

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