American troops participate in Gangnam Marathon
SEOUL (Oct. 3, 2012) -- American military personnel and their families participated in the 2012 Gangnam Marathon in Seoul, today.
More than 300 U.S. troops, civilians and family members ran in the endurance race in the Gangnam District of Seoul, the affluent area recently made famous by South Korean performer Psy's "Gangnam Style" video.
The most watched YouTube video of all time with more than 350 million views in just over 10 weeks, Gangnam Style started a global dance phenomenon and launched hundreds of parodies.
South Korea's Beverly Hills, Gangnam has been a stalwart supporter of U.S. forces in Korea for many years.
Since 2004, Gangnam has hosted and organized more than 150 events for U.S. military personnel, according to Joe Sellen, chief of the Eighth Army Civil Military Operations Coordination Center.
Participants in the Gangnam Marathon had the opportunity to run a full marathon or a half marathon, as well as a 10-kilometer race, 5-kilometer race and 3-kilometer walk.
The opening ceremony of the Gangnam Marathon was held at COEX, the site of the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit and the 2010 G-20 Summit.
At the opening ceremony, Eighth Army Deputy Commanding General for Operations Maj. Gen. Walter M. Golden thanked Gangnam for its on-going support of the Republic of Korea-United States Alliance.
"The security provided by this alliance has enabled one of the greatest modern success stories of the 20th century: the rise of the Republic of Korea into a global economic, political and cultural force," said Golden.
"If you look around Gangnam today, you can see evidence of Korea's great rise everywhere: from the top of the high-rise buildings to the bustle of peaceful and prosperous activity on the streets below. Gangnam truly has style," said Golden.
The general praised the runners for taking part in the marathon.
"By choosing to run in this event, you have not only made an important commitment to maintain a healthy lifestyle but have also set a great example for others to follow," said Golden.
"You prove that great physical and mental challenges can be overcome with the proper motivation, preparation and commitment," said Golden. "In the U.S. military, we fully appreciate the significance of your motivation, preparation and commitment to overcome great challenges.
"This is ingrained in our warrior culture and how our Soldiers prepare every day as they help to defend this great nation and maintain stability in this vital region," said Golden.