OLYMPIC GAMES | ATHLETICS

Men’s marathon at Tokyo Olympics: schedule, TV channel and how to watch it online

Kenya's Kipchoge has holds the world record of 2:01:39 in an event that has survived since the very first modern Games. Here’s how to watch the men’s competition.

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Men’s marathon at Tokyo Olympics: schedule, TV channel and how to watch it online
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU AFP

Follow the men's marathon live online

It may not be the longest race at the Olympic Games - we’ve done a whole article on this topic, if you’re interested - but the marathon is still an iconic event and one that has been in existence since the first modern Games in 1896 (although women were not allowed to run the 26.2-mile race until the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles). Now in the Japanese macrosports event, both the men’s and women’s races have had plenty of attention on them, and the men’s event comes as we head towards the closing ceremony of the this summer’s action in Tokyo.

Olympic marathon: where and who's going to win?

Tokyo is, of course, the heart of the Olympic competition, where most of the events have been taking place, but the marathon races are being staged in Sapporo, Hokkaido - around 500 miles north of the host city. The change was made due to worries over high temperatures further south.

The men's marathon race, just as with the women, covers a distance of 42.195 km (26.22 miles in old money) and starts and finishes at Odori Park. Runners will tackle a three-loop race route after running two laps around the park. The first large loop is about the length of a half-marathon, and then runners will face a second, shorter loop, which measures about 10 kilometers and must be completed twice.

The favorite in the men’s marathon is the 2016 gold medalist and world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge. He is expected to romp home (as much as you can romp over 42km) to win another gold medal. His world record of 2:01:39 was set in 2018 at the Berlin Marathon which took a full minute off his previous best time, and although in 2019 he actually ran sub-two hours, that wasn’t classed as an official event.

Kipchoge’s main competitor, if he has an off-day, is likely to be Lawrence Cherono although he hasn’t raced since December last year due to covid-19 restrictions.

What time does the men’s Olympic marathon start?

The men’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon race gets underway at the Odori Park, Sapporo, on Saturday 7 August 2021, at 6:00 pm US (EDT) and 3:00 pm US (PDT).

The marathon starts at midnight CEST and 11:00 pm UK time.

Where can I watch the men's marathon?

In the US, the men’s Olympic marathon will be televised on USA Network. If the coverage gets disrupted by another sport, you can also watch a dedicated live stream of the entire race via NBCOlympics.com or the NBC sports app.

You will need to login to a cable provider to watch through the NBC digital platforms, so if you don’t have a cable or don’t have a cable login you can still watch a live stream of the event online via FuboTV, SlingTV, AT&TTV, Hulu with Live TV.

Men’s marathon: live AS English coverage

We'll have live coverage of the men's marathon in our dedicated Olympics feed as we continue to track all the action from the Tokyo Games here at AS English.