How to watch the London Marathon abroad

Spectators watch London Marathon

In this guide I'll show you the incredibly easy 6-step way you can watch the London Marathon abroad. You'll be able to watch from any country on the planet and you won't need a science degree to do it.

The London Marathon is probably one of the biggest one-day running events in the UK. It's also one of the biggest in the world. In fact, Forbes calls it one of the “Top 10 Marathons worth traveling [sic] for”.

But what do you do if you're outside the UK and you want to watch all the race action? Well, unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do because in most countries they don't show the event. If you try to watch on the usual UK online services then you're blocked.

There is however some good news. You can watch the entire London Marathon abroad from any country in the world and below I'll show you how.

Watch the London Marathon abroad

The entire elite runners London Marathon is being shown live on BBC TV in the UK.

Online on the BBC iPlayer service both the elite and amateur runners will be able to be watched.

If you try and use BBC iPlayer abroad when you're outside the UK then you'll be blocked from viewing. Even if you're in the EU you'll be blocked and further afield in the world, you'll most certainly be blocked.

Using an additional app called a VPN (Virtual Private Network) it's possible to unblock BBC iPlayer allowing you to watch the London Marathon abroad in any country in the world.

A VPN is a 100% legal app to help you protect your online privacy and as part of this it allows you to change your ‘online location'. This makes it appear as if you are in the UK even though in reality you're in Australia, the USA, Spain or even Timbuktu!

Just follow the simple steps below and you can be watching the London Marathon in no time.

How to watch the London Marathon abroad Step-by-Step:

  1. Visit the VPN provider NordVPN by clicking here and sign-up for their service – Save 30% off a 1-year package by using the code VPNCOMP17.
  2. Go to the VPN Apps section of their website and download and install the correct app for your type of device.
  3. Open the app and login with the username and password you created when signing up.
  4. On the world map select the United Kingdom and click on it.
  5. The app should make automatic connection but if not click the large Connect button.
  6. Once the app has connected visit the BBC iPlayer website or launch the BBC iPlayer app on your device.

You can now watch the entire London Marathon from abroad in any country in the world.

When you've finished watching just press Disconnect on the NordVPN app. You can reconnect at any time and use it to watch other content on the BBC or other services like Sky Go, ITV and others.


You may need to open your web-browser in InPrivate or Incognito mode if you've previously tried to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK and been blocked.

How to use the VPN app example

If you're struggling to find the correct options to connect then never fear. It's actually really easy.

Below you can see two example screenshots. One of how to connect on a mobile device such as an Android or Apple phone or tablet and another how to connect on a regular Windows or MacOS computer.

Android / Apple:

NordVPN Android UK

Windows / Mac:


As you can see it's simply a case of connecting to the UK by selecting it on the map and then waiting for the NordVPN app to connect. You can then visit the BBC iPlayer website or launch the app.

What if I don't have the BBC iPlayer app

It's easiest to watch the London Marathon on a computer or laptop because you don't need any additional apps for BBC iPlayer. All you need is the VPN app from NordVPN and then to visit the BBC iPlayer website.

If you're already abroad and you don't have the BBC iPlayer app installed then you'll need to install it first. First you should check your app store and see if it's possible to install it normally.

If installing it is blocked you can try the following methods.


Download the latest version of the BBC iPlayer app from APK Pure.

Apple (iOS):

Read our guide on how to install iOS apps out of country.

When is the London Marathon on TV

This year the London Marathon takes place on Sunday, 22nd April 2018.

Live coverage is expected to take place from 8:30 am BST / UTC and you can tune in then to see the elite race start from around 8:50 am.

The finish line for the elite race should end around 12:25 pm but coverage will continue until 4:00 pm showing the amateur racers. If you miss all of this then you can watch the highlights between 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm on BBC Two on BBC iPlayer using your VPN app.

The ‘Virgin Money' London Marathon is not as old as you may think. It first took place in 1981 but is one of the most iconic marathons taking in views of Big Ben, the London Eye, the Town of London, Tower Bridge and the famous River Themes.

You'll be able to take in all the marathon action anywhere in the world simply by using the VPN app from NordVPN.

Watch London Marathon abroad Recap

To watch the London Marathon abroad you'll need these two things:

  • A Windows or Mac Computer or an Android or Apple tablet or phone.
  • A VPN service from NordVPN.

You can get a VPN by clicking the large orange button below. All you need to do then is install the VPN app on your device and connect to their United Kingdom option (also known as a ‘server'). Then you can watch the London Marathon on BBC iPlayer from any country.

Christopher Seward

Author: Christopher Seward

After 25 years of using the internet, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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