Volgograd and Cologne ran a virtual marathon together

On October 4, a German partner-city of Volgograd once again held a running event, which had long ago won the hearts of athletes all over the world – the famous Cologne Marathon.

Despite the pandemic, Volgograd residents once again managed to take part in it – these were the members of the “Cologne – Volgograd” Friendship Society and 25 amateur sportsmen led by the organizers of the “Victory” Marathon. How did they do it? Virtually!

Due to the COVID, the Cologne organizers decided to create a completely new version of the race -- the “Generali Cologne Marathon 2020 virtual edition”.

It was held under the motto “Real. Close. Secure. Virtually Cologne-style.”

One could take part in the race from any part of the world – they only had to run wherever and whatever distance (marathon, half marathon or 10 km) while using Cologne’s new tracking app for chronometry and tracking.

The City of Cologne has generously paid the registration fee for 11 recreational runners per sister-city. However, Volgograd had many more runners willing to participate!

Additionally, prior to, during and after the race, all participants could post about their experiences in social media (Instagram and Twitter) with the official hashtag "koelnmarathon" – or send Facebook messages to the 'Talk to Walter' bot. The most vivid message exchanges and bright photos found their way to Marathon’s website and its social wall at koeln-marathon.de/socialwall/

“In their heart of hearts and by social engagement the athletes were mentally close to each other and socially connected,” noted the Marathon organizers and the participants themselves. As for Volgograd runners, they could feel the warmest support from their fellow runners from the “Cologne – Volgograd” Friendship Association.

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