A lot of runs could not take place anymore, almost all sport competitions have been cancelled. Especially for professional runners and competitive atheletes, this is a pretty demotivating situation on top of all the trouble caused by the Coronavirus anyway. Hence, we looked for a possibility to decentralize competitve sport events.

What it does

Our App uses a simple matchmaking system similar to Multiplayer Online Games to match runners with comparable times over a certain distance together for a run. The run takes place synchronously which is in our oppinion a lot more motivating than just posting one's scores and times on the internet or in an app. At the end of the run, scores are given for the ranking in the run of course, but also for personal achievements such as the time of the run or the regularity or increasement of one's own speed over the course of the run.

How we built it

We used React Native for the frontend and Native.js for the server backend.

Challenges we ran into

A big difficulty for us was that our lead frontend programmer unfortunately had to drop off on Saturday and we had a pretty hard time replacing her. Luckily, we had another very good programmer who was eventually able to come up with a cool frontend demo.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We managed to agree on a certain idea and concept pretty fast and we indeed managed to have a working demo prototype.

What we learned

Having a team of motivated, self-organized people is absolutely priceless when having to deal with a completely new challenge, especially when no one of the team's members has met before. Also, it seems to be crucial that there are at least 2 persons involved in every area of work (like for us Frontend, Backend, Concepts/UX/UI), to avoid a (temproary) crush.

What's next for Virtuelle Volksläufe

We will discuss to polish the app and add additional features, such as fairly calculated routes for the matches.

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Current dev actions


We established the core element, a session where a group of runners connect with each other:

  • the user defines its physical condition, and the distance he likes to run.
  • with this information the user gets assigned to an appropirate group.
  • once a session is complete with its participants the actual run is starting.
  • each user then sends from time to time their status update (e.g. distance)


As for a simple prototype we decided to implement the scenario as a simulation on a webpage, due to much less development effort compared app creation. Thus this is done via a multi-client - server communication.


We're finalizing our prototype visualizations. Snatch a first impression:

First impression

What's next?

Merging, coupling and gluing Front- with Backend for first individual Demos!

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Sport is always more fun when practicing it in groups. Unfortunately, durring these restricted social times, close encounters we have in such groups like in marathons are not managable. To overcome this situation, we want to virtually connect during a run.

By getting assigned out of a pool of participants to a running group, a challenge starts and each one has to cover the same distance. Due to that just the km's are compared, the actual tracks can be different and everyone can just start right where they are.


Development is gathered here:

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