Annual Exchange Program
Since 2012
Presented by Dresden Sister City, Inc.
In Partnership with
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & Half Marathon
and Greater Columbus Sister Cities International

The Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon and the Dresden Marathon have a long-standing partnership. In the 1990s, groups of Dresden runners used to come over and run our race. Then in 1998, Dresden re-established their own race, and it usually coincides with the Columbus race on the third Sunday in October. So, for the 20th anniversary of the Columbus-Dresden sister city relationship in 2012 we decided to start an exchange program! That first year we sent 20 Columbus athletes to Dresden! It is now an annual program, and we exchange 5 runners every year. The athletes spend 5 days in their sister city, they stay with local hosts and explore the city through the eyes of their hosts.

The program was extended in 2015 to include two other sister cities of Columbus; Curitiba, Brazil and Hefei, China. To find out more about that program, head over to http://columbussistercities.com/.

Every year in March, we announce the exchange and encourage applications from local runners. Here is this year’s announcement:

  • 5 RUNNERS who would like to travel to Germany and represent Columbus and the Columbus Marathon as Marathon Ambassadors in the Dresden Marathon & Half Marathon on October 21, 2018 (Travel Dates: Thursday, 10/18 – Tuesday, 10/23)
  • 5 HOSTS who would like to host one of the five runners from Dresden, Germany representing their city in the Columbus Marathon on October 21, 2018. The hosting period is five nights: October 18 – 23, 2018.

Here are the details:

  Runners Hosts
Who: Central Ohio residents and individuals with a strong connection to Columbus to represent the city Greater Columbus residents who love their city and enjoy hosting visitors from other countries
What: Participate in the Dresden (Germany) Marathon or ½ Marathon as a representative of Columbus Host a runner from Dresden, Germany and show him/her the CBus and what it has to offer
When: October 18-23, 2018

Dresden Marathon: October 21

October 18-23, 2018

Columbus Marathon:
October 21

Where: Dresden, Germany Columbus, Ohio















Free entry to the Dresden race category of your choice;

Lodging with a host family in Dresden for 5 nights;

A gift package from Second Sole, including a pair of Nike running shoes, training tee and other perks;

Transportation in Dresden on race weekend;

Meeting with Dresden City officials;

Guided walking tour of Dresden;

Help with fundraising if interested;

The experience of a lifetime!

Make new friends

Learn about your sister city Dresden and German culture

Have someone to visit when you travel to Germany

Learn some (more?) German

Meet and socialize with the other hosts

Learn about Columbus and explore the city together with your guests and discover things you did not know

In short: you are going to be a tourism ambassador for Columbus, and an ambassador for American culture!




Here’s what you need
to be considered:








Valid passport (until at least May 2019)

Airfare (between $600 and $1,600)

Interest in foreign cultures

A strong connection to Columbus

Plus: prior participation in Columbus Marathon or Half Marathon

Ideas for and interest in raising funds for marathon exchange program

An interest in supporting the Marathon Exchange in future years as well as other programs of the Columbus-Dresden relationship

A spare bedroom and access to a bathroom and kitchen

Include guest in your meals

Provide transportation (at least on marathon weekend)

Be able to spend some time with the visitor and include them in your schedule and activities

If you work full time and can’t take time off, we will be working with you to accommodate your schedule.






How to apply Email us at dresdensistercity@gmail.com
Application Deadline Thursday, May 31, 2018

Applicants will be notified by June 10th

Whenever the five hosting spots are filled
Important Dates











June (TBD) Kick-off meeting with all selected Columbus Marathon Ambassadors to Dresden

July – September Fundraising

August / September (TBD) Potential Fundraising Event

September (TBD): Cultural Briefing and official send-off

November (TBD): Dresden Sister City Annual Membership Drive

August / September (dates TBD)
Meeting with Marathon Exchange Committee: Put together schedule for visiting athletes and plan transportation scheduleOctober 18-23, 2018
Hosting Dates; Schedule for hosting programNovember (TBD): Dresden Sister City Annual Membership Drive


Interested in the experience some of our past participants had? Read some of them here:

Please help us support their mission and this program with a donation today!

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Interested in sponsoring this great program? Contact us today!