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KRC 2018: A Year of Us

So Part I of the 2018 Year In Review was admittedly a lot of Nike. Nike Reacts, Nike 10k on a highway (how people from the East Coast pronounce freeway). Part II is about us. How we built this and just some of the people behind the scenes.

THURSDAY NIGHT RUN: January

I remember sitting at Veggie Grill with Hakim back when I tried to be a vegan for two days. Him being still fairly new to LA, we chopped it up talking about this little run thing we had going and what I saw for us in the future. A few weeks later we started our Thursday Night Run. Alongside him was Dylan, who was seemingly born for the role. I’m not sure if any one person is the face of KRC but Dylan is definitely the closest thing to being the voice of it.

With their leadership (and a little help from the extended happy hour from Beer Belly), Thursday nights have turned into a cornerstone of Koreatown Run Club drawing out big runners and big vibes. We also can’t leave out the Litty Committee spearheaded by a few of the ladies. From post-run Master of Ceremonies Lynn handling the mic to Bea, Annie and Mayra making sure no birthday gets left behind, Thursday Nights will have you running for half an hour and then have you staying until closing time.

I have to take this time to mention where these images came from. Our friend Riley sent down David to shoot for Tempo Journal which was also fairly new at the time. The press KRC got in 2018 was great. We were written up by Beats by Dre, The Line Hotel’s Here-Mag, and just wrapped up another interview with Runner’s World. It’s amazing to know what we’re doing in this little neighborhood best known for grilled meats is interesting to people outside our community. Also let’s do a throwback to this in 2017. 

WEDNESDAY TRACK NIGHT: October

The months leading up to the birth of our Wednesday Track Night, we had some fun times off road and outside of K-Town. It all started with a video Kit took of a 200m race after one of the Nike x KRC workouts with Blue and Raul at Santa Monica High. The morning after, FOMO-d Ozzie challenged those individuals and the trash talk began. A few months and a couple of 8-bit video game videos later, we had a date for the I WANT THAT 200 Challenge.

After the fires were settled and Future Duy gone, we started our own Track Night on Wednesday led by Westsiders Justin and Carol. Wednesdays acted as an opportunity to help train for the LA Marathon as well as give runners an option to run with us outside of Koreatown as we settled in Dorsey Track. It’s our latest baby and it seems to be in good hands pumping out the fastest Alex’s we’ve ever seen.

KRC POP UP: September

If the Nike KRC Epic React was the coolest project we did in 2018, our very own pop up was definitely our most proudest one. Mike and I built this project from the ground up bringing together some of the biggest current names in streetwear; Pleasures, Carrots and Chinatown Market.

Everything was done in a very DIY manner. We hit up our friends and contacts for favors and references. We had secured the location months in advance after a random DM from one of the owners of Chapman Plaza and then designed the layout and shirts after that. This is another topic I’ll be happy to dive into more in-depth in the future, but for now let’s just say the night was a success and we sold out on a lot of pieces within hours.

The location was bare with only two dim lights in the entire place. We purchased everything from Amazon and Target making sure they were in decent returnable condition after the weekend was over. Whatever wasn’t returned was sold. The flags, the wall art, and well.. that’s pretty much it.

The store stayed open throughout the weekend with our friends helping to set up and tear down the pop up. Looking at the storefront, the KRC vinyl over the window, we were learning AND doing as we went. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That’s the KRC way. If the weekend failed, we would have been out thousands of dollars and have a bunch of shirts leftover but hey at least we did it. We followed a dream and executed as best we knew how. 

We knew we had to make the most out of the prime location as much as we could so we hosted Yoga for Runners and Tai Chi in the space during the day and ended with an amazing closing dinner fed to us by our friends at Escala.

In the midst of all of the stresses and euphoria, we knew we forgot a tradition we had to uphold even if it was a few months later. Our birthday party.

2.5ISH BIRTHDAY: September

As mentioned in Part One, KRC was born somewhere in Haiti. It wasn’t until April that we had our first run our of The Line Hotel. We came a long way from loitering and hoping no one would kick us out of the lobby to doing cannonballs in the rooftop pool with our own runners DJing the afternoon. The hotel has been nothing but supportive since day one from putting our shirts in all of their hotel rooms to letting us host random events involving sweaty strangers, they are a river to the Koreatown community they serve. Also they made us this delicious cake.

Words by Duy Nguyen

Photos by David Jaewon Oh, Duy Nguyen, Armani Smith and Emari Traffie

1 comment

  • Just read about your Club on Runner’s World… https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a25859544/koreatown-run-club/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_rnw&utm_medium=email&date=011519&src=nl&utm_campaign=15702806&utm_term=AAA%20—%20High%20Minus%20Dormant%20and%2090%20Day%20Non%20Openers

    I grew up in L.A. and now live in the east coast. So awesome what you guys are doing!!! Next time I’m in L.A., I’ll be sure to stay at the Line Hotel and join one of your runs.

    Korean-American runner in Philly

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