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How to watch the London Marathon 2021 live stream online

The runners in the 2020 London Marathon
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

It's almost time to watch the London Marathon! The 41st edition of the race takes place today (Sunday, October 3), with 50,000 runners set to take on the iconic 26.2-mile route from Greenwich to The Mall. 

The stage is set for a brilliant mass-participation race. It's been 889 days since the last mass-participation London Marathon due to Coronavirus restrictions, so for many runners, this is the day they've been training for, for years.

London Marathon live stream, date, time, channels

The London Marathon live stream takes place today (Sunday, October 3).
► Time: 8:50 a.m. BST / 3:50 a.m. ET / 12:50 a.m. PT
• U.S. — Watch on FloSports
• U.K. — Watch on BBC Two, BBC One and BBC Red Button
• Watch anywhere — try ExpressVPN 100% risk free

In the elite race, London Marathon 2020 men's winner Shura Kitata will be back to defend his title. Vincent Kipchumba and Sisay Lemma, who were also on the podium in the elite-only 2020 London Marathon, are also returning to the race.

In the women's elite field, reigning champion Brigid Kosgei will be attempting to win her third successive London Marathon, following her Olympic silver medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Also lining up on the start line is reigning New York City Marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei, as well as Ethiopian runners Roza Dereje and Birhane Dibaba, both of whom have marathon PRs of under 2 hours 20 minutes.

In the wheelchair race, some of the best wheelchair racers in the world return to the streets of London. Defending champions Brent Lakatos and Nikita den Boer will both be on the start line, as well as David Weir, the most decorated athlete in London Marathon history, who will return to race his 22nd London Marathon in front of a home crowd. 

If you're looking out for a runner in the mass-participation race, you can expect to see them once the race kicks off at 9.30 am BST. This year, the start of the mass-participation race will be staggered between 9.30 and 11.00 am BST in order to allow for more social distancing along the route. The easiest way to keep an eye on how your runner is doing is to track them — here's how to track runners at the London Marathon

London Marathon start times and schedule

The timeline for the day is as follows: 

Elite wheelchair race: 8:50 a.m. BST / 3:50 a.m. ET / 12:50 a.m. PT

Elite women start: 9:00 a.m. BST / 4:00 a.m. ET / 1:00 a.m. PT

Elite men and mass-participation start: 9:30 a.m. BST / 4:30 a.m. ET/ 1:30 a.m. PT

How to watch the London Marathon live stream wherever you are

The London Marathon coverage will be on the BBC for most of the day in the UK, but if you're not in the UK, there are still ways to watch a friend or family member take on the race (although you might need to set your alarm clock a little earlier than usual for a Sunday!) 

The answer is to use a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN will let you tune into your home coverage from wherever you are — meaning that if you're abroad, you can use one of the best VPN services to watch the games live as if you were in your lounge.

Our favorite right now is ExpressVPN, thanks to its combination of superb speed, great customer service and excellent device support. It also offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee, so you could check it out without having to sign up long term.

ExpressVPN

Speed, security and simplicity combine to make ExpressVPN our favorite VPN service. In our testing, we were impressed by its fast connection times and by its ability to access more than 3,000 services in 160 locations across 94 countries. A 30-day money-back guarantee is another bonus.

Using a VPN is incredibly simple.

1. Install the VPN of your choice. As we've said, ExpressVPN is our favorite.

2. Choose the location you wish to connect to in the VPN app. For instance if you're in the U.K. and want to view a U.S. service, you'd select U.S. from the list.

3. Sit back and enjoy the race. Head to BBC Sport to stream the marathon. 

How to watch the London Marathon in the UK 

A slice of the UK flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you're in the UK, coverage of the London Marathon will start at 8.00 am BST. From 8.00 am - 10.00 am BST, you'll need to head to BBC Two to catch all the action. Then, coverage will move to BBC One from 10.00 am - 2.30 pm BST. From 2:30 pm – 4 pm BST you can watch coverage on the BBC Red Button.

At 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm BST highlights from the men's and women's elite races, as well as the mass-participation races will be shown on BBC Two.

All of this coverage is completely free. 

All sounds great, right? But if you're not in the U.K., you can still follow the London Marathon live coverage by using one of the best VPN services, such as ExpressVPN

How to watch the London Marathon live stream in the US and Canada

A slice of the US flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you're keen to get up early and watch the London Marathon from the US, the easiest way to do so is to watch the live coverage on FloTrack

To watch the race, you'll need to be a subscriber, which is $29.99 per month, or $149.88 per year (which works out to $12.49 per month). You can cancel your subscription anytime, so you can sign-up now to watch the race and then cancel at the end of the month (FloTrack are also streaming the Boston Marathon on October 11 and the Chicago Marathon on October 10, so you'll get good value out of your subscription). 

VPN terms and services notes

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past four years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.