London Marathon 2024: How to watch on the BBC, elite runners, route, start times

runners in fancy dress at the 2023 London Marathon
Watch your friends and family complete their marathon via the finish line cameras on the BBC [PA Media]

London Marathon 2024

Date: Sunday, 21 April Times: 08:50 BST wheelchair races, 09:00 elite women, 09:40 elite men and masses

Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website & app from 08:30

The London Marathon takes place on Sunday, 21 April - with more than 50,000 runners aiming to tackle the 26.2 miles.

Some will have world records they want to break, others will be running in fancy dress, but all will be cheered on by the crowds while raising millions of pounds for charity.

You can follow the action live on the BBC from 08:30 BST.

Who is running in the elite races?

There will be 20 athletes in the women's elite race and 43 in the men's.

Great Britain's Becky Briggs and Alice Wright will participate in the women's race after competing in the marathon at the 2022 European Athletics Championships.

Joining them are Anya Culling, Rachel Hodgkinson, Helen Gaunt, Mhairi Maclennan and Lucy Reid.

Ethiopia's new world record holder Tigst Assefa, Kenya's trio of Brigid Kosgei, Ruth Chepngetich and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, and Ethiopia's 2020 London Marathon champion Yalemzerf Yehualaw will all be there. They will aim to break the women's only world record - the fastest time by a woman in a marathon that was not a mixed-gender event - set by Kenya's Mary Keitany in 2017 (two hours 17 minutes and one second).

In the men's race, Emile Cairess returns after becoming the third-fastest Briton on his London Marathon debut last year. He is joined by Callum Hawkins, who finished fourth at the World Championships.

Compatriot Marc Scott, a 3,000m bronze medallist at the 2022 World Indoor Championships - will make his marathon debut, as will Mahamed Mahamed.

The elite men's race is headlined by Ethiopia's Tamirat Tola, who is the New York City Marathon champion, Mosinet Geremew, who is the seventh-fastest man in history, and Kenya's Alexander Mutiso Munyao.

In the wheelchair races, Britain's David Weir - the most decorated athlete in the event's history with a total of eight wins - is set to compete in his 25th consecutive London Marathon.

What is the route?

The route, 26.2 miles across London, has largely remained unchanged since the first marathon in 1981.

The course begins at Greenwich Park and ends on The Mall, where runners will cross the finishing line.

It takes in several famous London landmarks, including Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.

Which celebrities are running?

As with previous London Marathons, an array of famous faces will be among the runners, each raising money for their chosen charities.

Comedian and TV presenter Romesh Ranganathan, Golden Globe-winning actor Ruth Wilson and Ted Lasso actor Phil Dunster will be making their marathon debuts.

EastEnders actors Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick will be running as their characters Honey and Jay.

Athletes from different sporting backgrounds will also participate, including 2022 Commonwealth karate gold medallist Joe Kellaway, former Wales rugby union player Shane Williams and Winter Olympian Aimee Fuller.

Paralympians Danny Crates and Richard Whitehead will be among the hundreds of participants with a disability taking part.

Other celebrities include McFly drummer Harry Judd, former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston and F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham.

How to follow the London Marathon on the BBC

Watch the day's coverage in full on the BBC, including the main race.

Viewers can watch family and friends complete their marathon via the finish line cameras on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport app and website, which will also be showing a stream of the runners crossing Tower Bridge.

Network TV:

08:30-14:00: BBC One

14:00-15:00: BBC Two

Additional coverage on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport app and website

08:20-15:00 - elite races

11:30 - 14:30 - Tower Bridge camera

13:00-18:00 - finish line cameras


18:00-19:00: BBC Two

What time does it start?

08:50 BST - wheelchair races

09:00 - elite women

09:40 - elite men and masses