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How to watch the New York City Marathon 2021 live stream online

A photo of runners taking part in the New York City Marathon
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Today, we'll watch the New York City Marathon to see 33,000 runners heading out to Staten Island to take on the 50th edition of the iconic race. After the 2020 race was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, for many, the return of the marathon to the city is something to celebrate! Runners will take on the 26.2-mile course, which goes through New York’s five boroughs, finishing in Central Park in Manhattan.

If you’re not able to head to the city to line the streets and cheer on the runners, why not support from the comfort of your couch by tuning in to the live stream? We’ve also written a handy guide on how to track runners (and all the celebrities) at the New York City Marathon here. 

The New York City Marathon kicks off at 8 a.m. ET today (Sunday, Nov. 7), with the wheelchair race. The handcycle athletes start at 8:22 a.m. before the elite women begin racing at 8:40 am. The elite men start running at 9:05 a.m., then the mass-participation race gets going with the first wave starting at 9:10 a.m.. Runners will then be released in spaced-out waves to allow for more social distancing on the course. Wave 2 begins at 9:55 a.m., wave 3 begins at 10:40 a.m., wave 4 at 11:20 a.m., and wave 5 at 12:00 a.m.. If you are hoping to spot your runner on the course, it’s a good idea to double-check what wave they are starting in. 

The elite field also looks exciting this year, with Olympic silver medalist Abdi Nageeye, and four-time Olympic medalist Kenenisa Bekele all making their New York City Marathon debuts on Sunday. Jared Ward and Ben True will also be racing on home soil. In the women’s elite field, Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir will be on the start line, as well as four-time Olympian Helalia Johannes, and Ruit Aga, who won the Tokyo Marathon and finished third in New York in 2019. Molly Seidel, Aliphine Tuliamuk, and Des Linden will also be on the start line to race in front of a home crowd. 

New York City Marathon start times: 

If you want to work out how early to set your alarm, here are the various race start times. All of the times are in Eastern Time. 

8 a.m. - Professional Wheelchair Division 

8:22 a.m. - Handcycle Category and Select Athletes with Disabilities

8:40 a.m. - Professional Women’s Open Division 

9:05 a.m. - Professional Men’s Open Division 

9:10 a.m. - Wave 1 

9:55 a.m. - Wave 2 

10:40 a.m. - Wave 3

11:20 a.m. - Wave 4 

12 p.m. - Wave 5 

How to watch the New York City Marathon wherever you are in the world 

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to tune into the New York City Marathon from your TV, phone, or tablet. If you’re tuning in locally, watch on WABC-TV, Channel 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET, and so it will be on fubo TV for those in town. Pre-race coverage from Fort Wadsworth begins at 7:00 a.m. ET. Live streaming will be available on the ABC App and ABC7NY.com from 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. If you're not in the US, there are still ways to watch a friend or family member take on the race.

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

We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.

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 ABC7NY.com to stream the marathon. 

How to watch the New York City Marathon in the US 

US flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A live stream of the New York City Marathon will be on WABC-TV, Channel 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. Pre-race coverage from Fort Wadsworth begins at 7:00 a.m. ET. Live streaming will be available on the ABC App and ABC7NY.com from 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET.

If you're in the US but not in New York, you can watch live coverage of the race from 8:30 am to 11:30 am ET on ESPN2 and via the ESPN2 and via the ESPN App. Pre-race and continuing coverage will also be streamed live nationally on ESPN3 (accessible on the ESPN App and ESPN.com) from 7:00 am to 8:30 am and from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. You can also watch a live stream of the finish line on ESPN3 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm ET.

Fubo.TV

Fubo.TV: One of the best streaming services with NBC Sports Network and NBC, and the top pick for watching all of the 2021 NFL live streams, Fubo has all of the right network channels and the two cable channels you don't want to go without. Who needs cable? Not Fubo subscribers. It's got a 7-day free trial so you don't need to pay up front.

Sling TV

With NBC Sports Network on Sling Blue, Sling TV provides adds marathon coverage on top of its already decent coverage. The $35 per month Sling Blue package also has NBC affiliates for the race for locals, as well as local FOX affiliates and much more.

How to watch the New York City Marathon in the UK 

British flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re in the UK, you can still follow the New York City Marathon live coverage by using one of the best VPN services, such as ExpressVPN. The race will start at 1:00 pm GMT.

The race will also be broadcast on Eurosport, with a subscription costing £6.00 per month, or £4.99 per month if you agree to a 12-month subscription. You can also pay £29.99 and pay for the entire year. You'll also be able to catch sporting events like the Australian Open and the French Open on Eurosport, as well as cycling, athletics, and popular snooker events.

VPN terms and services language

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.