London Marathon live stream 2021: how to watch in UK and abroad

Fun runners competing in the London Marathon outside the Houses of Parliament
(Image credit: Bikeworldtravel /

One of the most iconic sports events in the world, the London Marathon is taking place months later than usual... because it's been restored to its former glory! The world's elite long-distance athletes will hit the streets of London alongside tens of thousands of fun-runners, fancy dress fanatics and fools who haven't realised quite what they've signed up for. Read on as our guide tells you how to watch a 2021 London Marathon live stream from anywhere in the world today - including for free.

The 26.219-mile route twists and turns all the way from Blackheath to Buckingham Palace, taking in some of the finest landmarks the capital has to offer. It's a far cry from last year's Covid-crippled version, which was restricted to elite athletes doing laps of St James's Park.

London Marathon live stream

Date: Sunday, October 3

Start time: 9am BST / 4am ET / 1am PT / 7pm AEDT

FREE live stream: BBC iPlayer (UK)

Global live stream: FloTrack (US, CA, AU)

Watch anywhere: Try ExpressVPN 100% risk-free

No, the party atmosphere will be back in full swing despite the early October chill, and that could well spur a record-breaking performance or two. 

2020's elite women's and elite men's winning times of 2:18:58 and 2:05:58 were a far cry from some of the markers we've seen in previous years, and Eliud Kipchoge in particular will want to put on a show after falling to a disappointing 8th place 12 months ago.

Even if you're not cheering on by the side-lines, it's easy to watch all of the action for free. Find out how to get a 2021 London Marathon live stream from anywhere in the world. 

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How to watch the London Marathon for FREE

watch all of the 2021 London Marathon action for FREE

In the UK, you can watch all of the 2021 London Marathon action for FREE on the BBC and BBC iPlayer.

The elite women's race starts at 9am BST, and the elite men's race and mass start are scheduled for 9.30am.

The BBC's London Marathon coverage gets underway at 8am on BBC Two, before switching to BBC One at 10am.

If you're not in front of a TV, you can also get a FREE London Marathon live stream via the BBC iPlayer streaming service, which works across a wide range of devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, games consoles and streaming devices.

As a national broadcaster, it doesn't cost a penny to stream if you're located in the UK.

How to live stream London Marathon 2021 from outside your country

If you're outside your country of residence - whether that be the UK or anywhere else - and try to stream the London Marathon via your native broadcaster, you'll soon discover that you can't, as it's location restricted. But there is a way to tune in regardless.

By downloading and installing a VPN, you can effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's back at home. That way you can enjoy your home coverage without having to find an illegal stream - assuming you comply with the broadcaster's fine print, of course - specifically its terms and conditions.

Use a VPN to watch London Marathon 2021 from anywhere

ExpressVPN - get the world's best VPN

ExpressVPN - get the world's best VPN
We've put all the major VPNs through their paces and we rate ExpressVPN as our top pick, thanks to its speed, ease of use and strong security features. It's also compatible with just about any streaming device out there, including Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation, as well as Android and Apple mobiles.

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Using a VPN is as easy as one-two-three...

1. Download and install a VPN - as we say, our top choice is ExpressVPN

2. Connect to the appropriate server location - open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location

3. Go to the broadcaster's live stream - so if you're from the UK, just head to the BBC iPlayer site or app

Men's elite race at the London Marathon

(Image credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

How to watch a 2021 London Marathon live stream around the world

the US, Canada and Australia

Looking to tune into the 2021 London Marathon from elsewhere? Dedicated track and field streaming service FloTrack is the new exclusive London Marathon broadcaster in the US, Canada and Australia.

You'll need to sign up for a FloTrack subscription to tune in. There's a US$29.99 per month option, but if you fancy commiting for the long term, you'll save US$210 if you plump for a 12-month subscription, which works out at $12.49 per month.

FloTrack covers loads of track and field events, live and on demand, and offers FloTrack Originals, all of which you can watch online or on your device with the FloSport app, which is compatible with iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast.

Abroad right now? A good VPN will help you tap into your home coverage no matter where in the world you are right now. 

Where does the 2021 London Marathon start?

For the first time since 2019, the London Marathon kicks off at Blackheath in South East London, its traditional starting point. 

However, there are three separate start lines (blue, green, and red), which have been introduced to give everyone a bit more space at the beginning. 

The green and blue routes converge just before the 1-mile marker, with the red route connecting with them just ahead of the 3-mile marker. 

What are the 2021 London Marathon start times?

The first race to start will be the 2.6-kilometer Mini London Marathon, which starts from 8.30am BST. The elite wheelchair race then begins at 8.50am.

The elite women's London Marathon gets underway at 9am, before the elite men's race starts at 9.30am - the same time as the mass start.

What is the 2021 London Marathon route?

The 2021 London Marathon has been restored to its traditional route, after last year's event was restricted to elite runners doing laps of St James's Park.

That means participants will thankfully have more than the same patch of grass and trees to feast their eyes upon, with the route lit up by iconic landmarks like Cutty Sark, Tower bridge, Westminster, The Mall and Buckingham Palace.

London Marathon runners circling the Cutty Sark

(Image credit: TCS)

What is the Virtual London Marathon?

The Virtual London Marathon was introduced last year, as a way for non-elite runners to participate in the event remotely, and it's back for the 2021 race.

50,000 places were available, with prices starting at £28. The event is now sold out. 

Everyone taking part has a full 24 hours to cover 26.2 miles on Sunday, October 3, and will receive a medal in the post after uploading their results.

What are the London Marathon record times?

The men's London Marathon record was set in memorable fashion by four-time Eliud Kipchoge in 2019, but it's been nearly 20 years since three-time winner Paula Radcliffe set the fastest time in elite women's history. 

  • London Marathon men's record: 2:02:37 - Eliud Kipchoge, 2019
  • London Marathon women's record: 2:15:25 - Paula Radcliffe, 2003
  • London Marathon wheelchair men's record: 1:28:57 - Kurt Fearnley, 2009
  • London Marathon wheelchair women's record: 1:39:57 - Manuela Schär, 2017

Who won the 2020 London Marathon?

The cold, wet 2020 London Marathon threw up a few major surprises, but 2019 champion Brigid Kosgei defended her elite women's title comfortably, posting a time of 2:18:58, which was more than three minutes faster than second-placed Sara Hall.

Shura Kitata upset the odds in the elite men's race, a thrilling spring finish seeing Vincent Kipchumba lose out by just a second. It was just the second marathon that Kipchoge hadn't won, the Kenyan later complaining about a blocked ear.

Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.