London Marathon 2024 guide: When is it, route, records and how to watch

London Marathon runners on the Mall
Last year's London Marathon welcomed a record number of starters - For the Daily Telegraph/Heathcliff O'Malley

The London Marathon, a fixture of the spring sporting calendar returns this year after a record-breaking number of entrants in the 2023 edition.

The race will be the first London Marathon held since the death of Kelvin Kiptum, last year’s men’s winner and world record holder, in a car crash in Kenya.

When is the 2024 London Marathon?

This year’s race is on Sunday, April 21.

What time do the races start?

Exact timings are yet to be confirmed but in previous years the elite and wheelchair races set off at staggered times from 8.30am and the mass participation event started at 9.30am.

The London Marathon route: where does it start and finish?

The London Marathon route follows its usual course, starting in Greenwich and Blackheath where entrants are split into three lines which converge at the three-mile mark. The route heads east into Woolwich, then back west towards Greenwich town centre, through Rotherhithe and Bermondsey. From there it crosses north over Tower Bridge, which signals the approximate halfway mark. Athletes then complete a circuit around Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs before the course runs west along the north bank of the Thames past the Tower of London towards Trafalgar Square and onto the Mall where it finishes in front of Buckingham Palace.

To download a map of the course, click here.

Some of London’s most famous landmarks feature on the course.

  • Cutty Stark, mile 6

  • Tower Bridge, mile 12

  • Tower of London, mile 22

  • London Eye, mile 25

  • Big Ben, mile 25

  • Buckingham Palace, mile 26

How many people run the London Marathon?

Last year 49,272 runners started the race with 43,965 finishing it (that’s 5,307 people who did not complete the course).

London Marathon prize money

This year for the first time equal prize money will be offered for the wheelchair and able-bodied races. The winner of each elite race will take home £43,500.

London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher said: “We have made great strides in recent years towards our ambition to make the London Marathon the most diverse and equitable marathon in the world and this is another important step towards achieving that goal.”

What TV channel is the London Marathon on?

The London Marathon will be shown on BBC as well as BBC iPlayer and the Red Button. This year’s broadcast schedule has not yet been confirmed but in 2023 the main broadcast started on BBC One at 8.30am, then moved to BBC Two at 2.15pm and exclusively to the iPlayer and online at 3pm. Highlights were shown on BBC Two at 6pm.

The production involves about 200 people, 40 cameras and half a dozen motorbikes. Multiple helicopters are used to help broadcast the elite races. Recently commentators have included Steve Cram, Paula Radcliffe and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Who is in the men and women’s elite races?

Tigist Assefa (ETH) 2:11:53
Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 2:14:04
Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) 2:14:18
Tigist Ketema (ETH) 2:16:07
Almaz Ayana (ETH) 2:16:22
Megertu Alemu (ETH) 2:17:09
Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 2:17:16
Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) 2:17:23
Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) 2:17:23
Sheila Chepkirui (KEN) 2:17:29
Tsige Haileslase (ETH) 2:22:10
Susanna Sullivan (USA) 2:24:27
Manon Trapp (FRA) 2:25:48
Becky Briggs (GBR) 2:29:04
Alice Wright (GBR) 2:29:08

Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:01:41
Mosinet Geremew (ETH) 2:02:55
Alexander Mutiso Munyao (KEN) 2:03:11
Tamirat Tola (ETH) 2:03:39
Dawit Wolde (ETH) 2:03:48
Kinde Atanaw (ETH) 2:03:51
Leul Gebresilase (ETH) 2:04:02
Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 2:04:23
Seifu Tura (ETH) 2:04:29
Daniel Do Nascimento (BRA) 2:04:51
Addisu Gobena (ETH) 2:05:01
Milkesa Mengesha (ETH) 2:05:29
Henok Tesfay (ERI) 2:07:12
Emile Cairess (GBR) 2:08:07
Callum Hawkins (GBR) 2:08:14
Hassan Chahdi (FRA) 2:08:19
Mahamed Mahamed (GBR) 2:08:40
Brian Shrader (USA) 2:09:46
Weynay Ghebresilasie (GBR) 2:09:50
Marc Scott (GBR) debut

London Marathon records

The men’s course record was broken last year when Kelvin Kiptum ran 2hr 1min 25sec. Kiptum, 24, was killed in a car crash in February. Paula Radcliffe holds the women’s course record, with a time of 2:15:25, set in 2003.

The women’s winner in 2023 was Sifan Hassan, who was running her debut marathon. Hassan lost touch with the leading group when she stopped to stretch but caught up again and prevailed in a sprint finish.

What are the best viewing spots?

The busiest spots on the course are usually Greenwich, Tower Bridge and Westminster. There are ordinarily many fewer spectators from mile 9-12 (Rotherhithe and Bermondsey) and mile 14-21 (Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs). For the chance to see the runners pass by twice, head to The Highway in Wapping which is used first from West to East and then again from East to West, although this tends to be a popular viewing point.