Project Details

Virtual Marathon Exchange

Short Description and Goal

Sister cities all over the world are organizing marathons for years. Reasons are charity, networking, raising awareness of some problem or building bonds between runners of different cities. The main difference from other marathons is that you can split your distance with participants from your sister city. Due to the pandemics, many marathons became virtual.

Detailed Description

While the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Marathon was canceled in 2020, Greater Columbus Sister Cities International organized a Virtual Marathon Fun Run.

The race was open to all who wish to participate, including alumni of the Sister City Marathon Exchange. Between the dates of Friday, October 24- Sunday, October 26, 2020, participants could run either a 10k, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon and share their times and photos of their journey with GCSCI. Runners could choose to split up the race between the different days or partner with a fellow-runner.

More info

Columbus’s sister city Dresden previously sent their runners delegations to join the Hospital Marathon. In 2o2o they took up the challenge in a different way and organized #MeetMeInTheMiddle marathon. The main goal was to engage people to run a 5 km distance in the cities on the route from Dresden to Columbus.

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The Phoenix Sister Cities is honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”), founder of the sister cities movement in 1956. They claim that participation supports their work to nurture global partnerships and create a more peaceful world!. Registered participants receive a t-shirt, a face mask and free Phoenix Sister Cities Individual Membership. After making a run, participants can submit it via survey monkey to get featured on the Wall of Fame.


More info

In 1985 Reggio Emilia, Italy, delegation started their first exchange with sister city Fort Worth, USA, by sending 135 runners to participate in Cowton Marathon. In 2021, any of Fort Worth’s 9 sister cities can participate in Cowton Virtual Marathon. Fort Worth Sister Cities International is partnering with the Cowtown Marathon to make 2021 year’s events truly international. All races, no matter the length, can be run virtually anytime between Feb. 27 – June 30. It’s possible to win prizes for awards like Team with the Most Participants, Team with the Most Miles, and more. The organizers provided discounted prices for Sister cities. More info 


Initiated by

  • Greater Columbus Sister Cities International
  • Fort Worth Sister Cities International
  • Phoenix

Initiators are

• Private individual(s) / Civil society

Funded by

• Foundations

Project Website(s)

Social Media Link(s)

Contact Info

Project Topics


Level / Project Complexity /


Participating Cities

  • Fort Worth
  • Greater Columbus

Sizes of Participating Cities

• 500.000 - 1,5 Mio

Participating Countries

  • The United States of America

Project Region(s)

• Asia
• Europe
• North America
• Sub-Saharan Africa

Media Credits

Cover picture: Credit:metamorworks via istockphoto

Second picture: Sog328, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons