She's the ace of the race

She is the only woman in the popular Korean variety show Running Man.

And there are pros and cons of being the odd one out in the group of seven, says Song Ji Hyo.

The 33-year-old told The New Paper through a translator yesterday: "The other members are very patient and understanding towards me. I learn a lot of positive things from them."

But, being the only female member has its disadvantages.

"I take a lot longer to prepare compared to the guys, especially when we have to participate in sporty games," she said.

"I feel bad that everyone has to wait for me."

Song is in town with four other members - Haha, Ji Suk Jin, Kim Jong Kook and Lee Kwang Soo - for the Running Man fan meet at The Star Performing Arts Centre tonight.

Yoo Jae Suk and Gary are absent.

Running Man, a Korean variety show that started airing in 2010, sees the members compete in physically-challenging missions to win a race.

Though Song is the only woman, she wins the races often and has earned herself the nickname "Ace".

Song said that being the "Ace" comes with its own pressure because she feels the need to live up to expectations.

She said: "I feel pressured, but I am thankful to the members and the staff members who help me along the way and give me this image."

Song is often seen on the show with little or no make-up. When asked about it, she said: "Having a full face of make-up does not fit into the nature of the show, so I go for natural or translucent make-up. I also run once a week to keep in shape.


"However, I am ageing now. To counter this problem, I apply sunscreen everywhere I go," Song added.

For her, filming the episodes for 30 hours at a go can be physically and mentally challenging.

She overcomes the mental obstacles by confiding in the members and staff members of the show.

She said: "Sometimes it's hard as we have to remain cheerful even after many hours of filming. It's good to get it out of the system."

Song recharges after the filming of each episode by getting ample rest.

"I sleep like a corpse for two days straight," she said with a laugh.

This article was first published on Nov 29, 2014.
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