If Olympic athletes have trouble with Running Man’s Boot Camp, then what hope is left for us? They’re going to be challenged to the brink with what the staff has in store in these four seasons. And mind you, Mr. PD may be way stricter (and a lot less reasonable) than your world-class Olympic coach.

EPISODE 109. Broadcast on September 2, 2012.

The cast welcomes back Gary, who’s been out on a back injury for the past 2 weeks. Jae-suk mentions that he’s still not 100% but Gary jokingly grabs onto Jong-kook, proclaiming that he’ll win today.

The two carpeted entrances (blue and red) catch their eyes and Kwang-soo points out that they must have a male and a female guest.

First, the blue door. They try to guess the darkened silhouette (Suk-jin: “An Olympic athlete?”) and then the headphones come out. A single person comes to mind: swimmer, Park Tae-hwan.

Wow, Jong-kook really does look tiny compared to Tae-hwan’s broad stature and the boys joke, “You’ll have to work out some more!” Pfft.

Suk-jin noticeably drops banmal and Haha reminds him that their Olympian is higher on the celebrity-o-meter than they are. It doesn’t help that Jae-suk pulls out his celebrity A-list friend card to “Tae-hwan-ee”. As they bicker, Tae-hwan just smiles and nods without uttering a single word. Are we ever gonna get to hear you talk?

Tae-hwan apologizes for not being able to catch up to Running Man (Caption: We 1000% understand) and Haha asks whose name tag he wants to rip off the most. Answer: Haha.

We have another guest waiting behind Door #2. Meet rhythmic gymnast, Son Yeon-jae. As expected, the boys start running and pushing each other to greet her first. When Jae-suk mentions that they should also take care of their other guest, Tae-hwan just coolly waves, “It’s okay! I’ll just say hi and leave.” Hahaha.

Haha cries that he’ll go back to his playboy-esque days one more time (uh-oh) and starts, “My last… my last love… is Byul!” Phew. You might have ended up in the doghouse there.

They take a moment to sincerely congratulate Haha’s engagement to singer Byul. Aww, congrats Haroro!

The boys tell Haha to just to focus on Byul and Gary pipes that he doesn’t have anyone. Haha: “Just start things up again with Ji-hyo!” Gary gets all huffy, “Me? WHY?!” Aw, no ex- Monday Couple moment?

Jae-suk poses the same question (Who do you want to eliminate the most?) and she meekly answers Haha. When they press her why, she explains that she met Haha once when she was younger and he refused her an autograph.

Haha’s jaw drops in response and the boys start kicking him. Yeah, I bet you regret that now.

Today, there are 3 teams of three (Jae-suk: “That means there’s a team of just us.”) Tae-hwan and Yeon-jae get to choose their teammates in a rock-paper-scissors battle. They get flustered and the cast playfully tease a loveline.

Gary and Jong-kook join Tae-hwan to make up the Green Team. Yeon-jae chooses Jae-suk and lowers her voice to whisper something. A minute later, we learn that she wanted to choose Kwang-soo but, “He doesn’t do well…” Oof.

But she picks the Giraffe to form the Red Team (Kwang-soo: “Is this heaven?”) which means Suk-jin, Haha, and Ji-hyo automatically make up the remaining Blue Team.

It cracks me up that Jae-suk quickly wraps up the opening so the cast can exchange pleasantries with the Olympians. You can almost sense Mr. PD actually sweating as he calls out that he has yet to introduce today’s mission and rules.

Today’s race is a Four Seasons Boot Camp and at each “season,” the first place team will determine to change the size of someone’s name tag. Ooh, this ought to be interesting.

First up is Spring at a small amusement park across the street. They’ll have to clear both games to move on. Both the Red and Green Team opt for the trampoline noraebang first while the Blue Team head for the pool.

Jeez – they have to score at least an 80 to succeed and not surprisingly, turns out to be a harder task than it looks. The Red Team fall short but at least we got to see some Yoo Hyuk moves!

The Green Team starts jumping and singing to Jong-kook’s “Lovely” (Gary stands on the sidelines, shouting). And woah – Tae-hwan can jump pretty high; his mouth comes mere inches to the mic.

When the song wraps up, Jae-suk looks directly at the camera addressing Yoon Eun-hye yet again, “Eun-hye, did you enjoy listening to that?” Flying kick from Jong-kook in response.

Even the Nation’s MC can make a fumble. He ushers out the other team who barely make the cut and spills out, “You’re ‘eliminated,’ right?” Tae-hwan whips back, “I’m really sensitive to that word!” Ooh, yeah you would be.

No worries because Jae-suk immediately apologizes and Tae-hwan lets it roll off of his shoulders.

Tae-hwan looks over to the Blue Team and wonders if they’ll get any screentime (since they’re without a guest). Funnily enough, Haha is giving that exact same speech to his teammates.

This mission entails traversing water but that human hamster ball sure makes me nervous. Sure enough, Haha tumbles inside from the get-go like he’s inside a washing machine. The staff play a rehearsal clip to show how easy it is but I’m gonna go with Haha on this one.

Back at the trampoline, Jae-suk complains to the staff that if the Olympic athletes are getting tired then how hard must it be for the staff? Tae-hwan answers, “Tell me to do the 1500m instead!”

After the Red Team dance to the Number Song, Kwang-soo has a grave expression, “Hyung, I already saw the score…” And poor Yeon-jae can’t hide her disappointment at the sad 32.

The Red Team awards the Green Team 3 points for their dance to DJ DOC’s “Run to You” but that’s just enough for them to hit 80. Thankfully they get to move on too.

If you ever wondered what it would be like to see an Olympic gold medalist tackle a water ball, today’s your chance. I love how the staff sets up this epic marine boy vs. water ball battle… and then Tae-hwan flails, rolling around in the ball, barely making any progress.

Exhausted, he jokes when he hears that it’s only the beginning, “Yeah I’m a bit weak at the start!” Aww.

Surprisingly, the Blue Team pass the noraebang in two tries (with an impressive 95) and clear the Spring portion of the mission. They can either decide to enlarge one team’s name tag size or reduce their own.

In the car, Jae-suk scolds Kwang-soo for trying to act as if he’s friendly with Yeon-jae. They talk about her Olympic performance and she informs them that her hands get sweaty so sometimes the ball slips out of her hands.

Jae-suk: “So what do you do?” Yeon-jae: “You have to go after it…” They chat more about her coach who’s the quiet but scary type.

Poor Tae-hwan is stuck with a larger name tag (we flashback to confirm that the Blue Team chose him) and humbly accepts Jong-kook’s compliment. Jong-kook presses him that he must know how good he is and Tae-hwan admits, “[I say that] to myself…”

They ask the burning question of what song he listens to before his meets and Tae-hwan answers that it’s always an energetic ones. At that, Gary resolves that Leessang should start making some happier songs. HA – so that Tae-hwan will listen to them?

When they hear that Tae-hwan only drank alcohol once while he was training this past year, Jong-kook claims that he did too. Gary cuts in, “You drank so much that you couldn’t remember!”

Tae-hwan shows off his large name tag at their second (Summer) mission. Here they’ll have to earn the ingredients for their boodaejjigae by playing 알까기 (ahlkkagi, a finger shooting game to knock off your opponent’s pieces off the board).

Kwang-soo and Tae-hwan are up first and it’s hilarious how Coach Kookie makes another fantastic appearance. He and Gary shout out strategies simultaneously to the point where Tae-hwan exclaims, “One at a time!”

Kwang-soo’s pieces ends up in a precarious situation which force him to stand behind Tae-hwan to get a good angle. Tae-hwan teases, “Don’t… blow air into my ear.” Omo!

They get down to one piece each and then Tae-hwan wins it for his team.

Next up is Haha who starts off strong by knocking out a couple of Tae-hwan’s pieces but he soon catches up. They’re down to 1:1 again and then… Haha misses, giving the victory to the Green Team yet again.

This time, Jae-suk steps up to the plate and even before his first shot, all I can hear is Coach Kookie and Coach Gary muttering in the background. (“He’s going, he’s going!” “It’s gonna fly!”)

Coaches Kookie and Gary relentlessly keep up the “Hey batter, batter, batter…” tactic but Jae-suk eventually sends two of Tae-hwan’s pieces flying off the table. In the end, Tae-hwan snatches a third win.

The Green Team pretty much earn all of the available ingredients and all the other teams can do is look on with envy.

Tae-hwan gets back a well-earned mini name tag this time and in the car, they chat about his disqualification at the 400m freestyle heats in London. He was on pins and needles waiting for the decision to be overturned. All he could do was reassure himself in the hope that it would be.

He admits that he lost some motivation before the finals but Gary could tell that Tae-hwan’s expression read how determined he was anyway. Then to buoy the gravity of the conversation, Gary confesses, “I drank so much afterward that I missed the finals!”

They move onto the Winter portion of the training camp at an ice rink. Aww, how cute are the kids cheering for their favorite Running Man members! It’s Human Curling where the team who stops closest to the finish line wins.

The Red Team set themselves up to go first. Yeon-jae panics but she stops riiiiggght at the finish line. Ji-hyo stops further away from the line and Jae-suk is launched to push her out of the way.

It’s that Ji-hyo grabs hold of him and she ends up just a tad further than Yeon-jae. Definitely the Ace. And then Suk-jin manages to push Yeon-jae out of the way.

Aww Yeon-jae is so cute. She and her teammates have a bit of fun sliding on the ice with their knees and she stops in front of Im PD who blushes. LOL.

Onto the Human Curling finals between the Green and Blue Teams. HA – looks like Spartakooks‘ weakness is ice as he slips and falls for the second time. Tae-hwan gives some coaching advice to Gary (are all of them Coaches? keh) but Ji-hyo’s up next and Gary tells him that his weakness is Ji-hyo.

And we get our ex-Monday Couple moment after all because Gary grabs onto Ji-hyo’s hand, turning her around. They both end up past the finish line and Gary defends, “I wanted her by my side!”

Now I’m convinced that all the Olympic athletes are made for variety. The other teams gripe at the Green Team’s strategy powwow as if they’re at the actual Olympics and Tae-hwan finally bursts, “I have a huge grudge against [the Olympics]!” HAHAHA.

The crowd must be full of Jong-kook fans because Spartakooks ends up right on top of the finish line. When the others complain against it, they scrreeeam in his defense.

All Suk-jin needs to do is push Jong-kook out of the way. He starts off promising but then Jong-kook grabs him and they both end up tumbling out of their trash cans. The PDs declare them both disqualified and Ji-hyo is declared the winner. Blue Team wins it again.

Immediately they call for Jong-kook’s name tag to be supersized.

At the final mission, Autumn and now we’re getting to some name tag ripping. Plus, there are potions hidden in the grounds that could be advantageous. Wait, is this Secret Garden all over again?

How sweet – Yeon-jae hopes that Kwang-soo isn’t tagged out too quickly but then she nearly cries when Kwang-soo playfully starts ripping off her name tag.

Haha hands over a box a little too willingly to Kwang-soo, calling themselves “Shin-ja” (for “baeshinja” or traitor). It’s a dud of course.

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Haha and Jae-suk stumble upon Witch Maknae FD’s humble abode but turns out that’s not where the potions are hiding. In fact, Kwang-soo finds one and makes no secret of his discovery.

They bring it back for Witch FD to work his magic. The result of Kwang-soo’s hard labor? A giant name tag. Hahaha – man cannot catch a break.

Jong-kook confesses to his teammates that the supersized name tag makes him super nervous and jumpy. Gary reminds him, “A tiger without teeth is still a tiger.”

Tae-hwan locks on his target, Kwang-soo, and then gives chase. Damn this boy is fast on water and on land and catches him in no time. He isn’t even out of breath!

Kwang-soo and Jae-suk plead for another chance but Tae-hwan is well aware that Kwang-soo always uses his second chance to betray his captors. He decides to let the Giraffe and Grasshopper off the hook anyway.

This time, Haha finds a red potion bottle and runs to Witch FD. Haha is allowed to call out one person and if they’ll be eliminated if they rip off Haha’s name tag. He whispers, “Park Tae-hwan.”

But that’s a no can do… because someone else has already picked him. So his second choice is Jae-suk, who is also listening right outside the door. Oho…

Haha stares at the camera and leaves a message for Jae-suk that he’ll be mighty angry next week. How about he’s angry now?

What?! We have to wait a week to find out how this all ends?! *stompity stomp*

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