London Marathon 2021: Date, route, start time, race map, TV channel and everything you need to know

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The 41st London Marathon takes place this weekend as the world’s most famous road race returns as a mass participation event.

Only elite athletes were allowed to take part in 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions but this year’s renewal will see tens of thousands of runners taking to the streets to chase PBs and, in many cases, raise much-needed money for charities hit hard by the pandemic.

Despite the absence of world record holder and now double Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge, the men’s elite field is still stacked, headed by last year’s winner Shura Kitata, who ended Kipchoge’s long unbeaten streak.

In the women’s elite race, Brigid Kosgei is bidding for a hat-trick of wins in the race but will face stiff competition, including from New York Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.

When is the 2021 London Marathon?

The London Marathon is traditionally held in April but was pushed back to October last year because of the pandemic and organisers have decided to keep it in that slot for the next two years before a return to the spring in 2023.

This year’s race will take place on Sunday, October 3.

What time is the 2021 London Marathon?

  • 8:30am - Mini London Marathon

  • 8:50am - Elite wheelchair race start

  • 9am - Elite women’s race start

  • 9:30am - Elite men’s race and mass participation start*

*Mass start to be staggered in waves between 9:30am and 11am due to Covid measures.

2021 London Marathon route

Last year’s race was held on a closed short course around St. James’s Park, with athletes running laps in order to ensure spectators could not gather in the midst of the pandemic.

This year, however, will see a return to the race’s traditional route, starting in Blackheath and taking in sights such as Tower Bridge and the Cutty Sark before finishing in front of Buckingham Palace on The Mall.

You can view a full course map here.

How to watch the 2021 London Marathon

TV channel: Full coverage of the 2021 London Marathon will be shown on BBC Two from 8am, before shifting to BBC One from 10am.

Live stream: TV licence fee-payers can stream the action online via the BBC Sport website and iPlayer app.

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