Events Wilhelmsburg Island Run

Every spring, runners from near and far gather on the Wilhelmsburg island in the middle of the Elbe river for the Wilhelmsburger Insellauf race.

Wilhelmsburg Island Run

Wilhelmsburg Island Run

Overview and history

Every spring, runners from near and far gather for one of Hamburg's most scenic competative running events: the Wilhelmsburger Insellauf (lit. 'Wilhelmsburg Island Run).

The Insellauf run first took place in 1981 at the behest of the Eisenbahner-Sportverein Einigkeit (lit. ‘Railway Sport Club Union’). To honor this history, the race has awarded a different railway-themed medal every year since its inception. 

Today, participants have a selection of races to choose from, including the Elbe Island Half Marathon (21.0975 km), the ten-kilometre long Inselzehner (‘Island Ten’), the five-kilometre Mühlenlauf (‘mill run’) and the one-kilometre-long school run for runners under 18. 

Each of these circuits take runners through some of Wilhelmsburg’s most scenic areas, including along the Dove-Elbe and the Moorwerder Elbe dyke, to the finish line in Krieterstrasse in the heart of Wilhelmsburg. 

Regardless of which race you choose, expect the crowds to cheer when you cross the finish line. There you will also find the event centre complete with food and drink stalls, live music stage, and a bouncy castle for the kids. Runners can relax here after the races, while spectators can enjoy the whole day to the fullest. 

Insellauf 2021 - 40th anniversary run

The team behind the Insellauf run came up with a hygiene concept that enabled all runners who wished to participate in person to do so.

For runners who couldn’t travel to Hamburg or who prefered to stay in their own neighbourhood in 2021, there was an innovative digital alternative. Runners could easily participate off-site in the virtual run remotely. They could select a route according to their chosen competition and have their result measured via app.

Vitit the Wilhelmsburger Insellauf run online for more information, including how to register.


The Wilhelmsburger Insellauf will next place on 4 April, 2022.

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