Race gave us an insider’s view into the corporate culture of big companies and how one has to fight for their position in the industry. The 12 episodes were mainly focused on the PR department at a pharmaceutical company named Seyong. The company’s management was dominated by the older generation who weren’t ready to let go of old-fashioned corporate culture. This became the reason for a clash between the younger and older generations. Yoon Jo always happened to be at the forefront of the conflicts, and Jae Min and Yi Jung later joined her to speak out against the company’s management. Let’s know more about the characters and their part in bringing change to Seyong.
Park Yoon Jo
Yoon Jo had been working odd jobs after she graduated from high school to support herself and her family. Her family life wasn’t great, as her mother dated and remarried a lot after her father died. Yoon Jo was stuck with her impulsive mother and a teenage half-sister, who also found it difficult to adjust to the family after her father died too. Among all the jobs Yoon Jo had worked on, she liked the job of publicist the most. She worked for a small PR agency before joining Seyong, and her job at Seyong brought a huge transition into her life. At first, she was accused of being hired through connections because she lacked qualifications. However, she proved her ability and was acknowledged by her team later. Yoon Jo believed in doing the right thing, but in a big company like Seyong, the right thing wasn’t always the correct thing to do. She got involved in a controversy and almost lost her job the second time. Gu Yi Jung saved her both times because she knew Yoon Jo was not at fault. Amidst this, Yoon Jo also went through a rough period of getting rejected by her crush, who also happened to be her best friend. Jae Min was still moving on from the woman he once loved, but he was soon going to realize his true feelings for Yoon Jo. Despite the never-ending challenges, Yoon Jo never lost hope and succeeded in achieving the dreams she had been dreaming of for a long time. She was finally acknowledged as a skilled publicist, but she left the job to pursue further education, which she couldn’t do in the past.
Ryu Jae Min
Jae Min was a skilled publicist and the top performer on his team. He had joined Seyong way before Yoon Jo and knew how the company worked. He had been friends with Yoon Jo since elementary school, and she had been his savior. His mother was a judge, but he used to get bullied because his father went to prison for doing protests against his company. Jae Min’s family life was disturbed at that time, and it never got fixed. Yoon Jo not only saved him from the bullies but also continued to be his shelter when things went wrong in his life. Unlike Jae Min, Yoon Jo thought about him romantically. When Yoon Jo was working to make money, Jae Min was studying abroad and fell in love with a woman who later broke up with him because their paths were different. Since then, Jae Min hasn’t been able to bring himself to date anyone else. To everyone’s surprise, the woman turned out to be Gu Yi Jung, who returned to Korea after a successful career as a publicist abroad. Jae Min knew he had to take a chance and ask her out again, which he did, despite knowing that he was probably going to get rejected. He couldn’t move on from Yi Jung for all these years, but after hearing from her that she had no thoughts of dating him ever again, he finally got the closure he needed. By that time, he knew Yoon Jo liked him, but she had already started dating Dong Hoon. He tried to keep his distance from her but failed to hide his feelings. Things had become awkward between them, but he didn’t force Yoon Jo to break up with her boyfriend. He felt he deserved that because he didn’t understand Yoon Jo’s feelings earlier. He promised to support Yoon Jo just like she did for him all this time.
Gu Yi Jung
Gu Yi Jung, also known by her alternate name, Jenny, had years of experience under her name as a publicist and was renowned for her work in the field of ESG. She was a frontrunner among her peers in adapting to the new world and bringing change to her publicity methods despite being in the field for a long time. After her massive success abroad, she was offered a job at Seyong by the president of the company, Ji Hyeon. Yi Jung was happy to return to her country, not for work but for her daughter, whom she hadn’t seen in more than a decade. Yi Jung had to leave behind her husband and daughter unwillingly because she wanted to pursue a career abroad, and her husband had refused to give her custody of her daughter, Yoo Jin. Working at Seyong was a headache for her because of all the old employees who opposed the change in their management structure. However, she managed to pull it off in the end with Jae Min and Yoon Jo’s help. While doing her job, she was also trying to get close to Yoo Jin, but her efforts were going in vain because Yoo Jin wasn’t ready to forgive Yi Jung for abandoning her. For Jae Min, Yi Jung was a lover he couldn’t forget, but for her, Jae Min was just another guy she dated briefly. Yi Jung wasn’t as attached to Jae Min as he was to her. Yi Jung was clear about the things she wanted in life and worked hard to achieve them. In the end, she succeeded in getting close to her daughter like she wanted to and quit her job to spend time with her.
Seo Dong Hoon
Dong Hoon was the CEO of a PR firm called Earth Comms and was the first obstacle in Yoon Jo’s way to work for Seyong. He first met Yoon Jo on the day they presented their PR proposals to Seyong and won against Yoon Jo’s small agency, PR JOA. However, both of them kept encountering each other, and eventually, Dong Hoon developed feelings for Yoon Jo. She was the kind of woman he wanted in his life—one who worked her way up from humble beginnings and was passionate about PR. Dong Hoon was talented and had built his company from scratch without support from any influential person, yet he was down to earth. He respected the people working under him, which made him a likable boss. Despite his innocent looks and kind demeanor, he was a skilled businessman and would keep his personal and professional lives separate. He dated Yoon Jo briefly, and even when Yoon Jo started keeping her distance from him, he didn’t cling on to her. He was calm in every situation and faced everything that came his way. He didn’t get Yoon Jo back, but unlike many second leads in dramas, he moved on from Yoon Jo easily and even stayed friends with her.