How to watch the Chicago Marathon: live stream the 2023 event online and on TV for free

Runners at the start of the Chicago Marathon 2022
(Image credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The next of the big six annual races is here in the form of the Chicago Marathon, taking place on Sunday, October 8, which promises to bring over 47,000 pairs of feet to the streets of the windy city.

Quick links

US: NBC Chicago (free) | (free) | Peacock | FloTrack
No confirmed streams
Watch abroad: 

In some parts of the world, you can watch the Chicago Marathon 2023 for free, including in the US using various local or Olympic-owned online streams. But don't worry if you're away while the race is taking place, because you can watch the Chicago Marathon 2023 live streams from anywhere with a VPN.

Following on the heels of Berlin, this is the penultimate of the six World Marathon Majors, with only New York to follow in the beginning of November. 

The 26-mile race takes runners through various parts of the city, including Lakeview in the north, Near West Side in the west and Park Boulevard in the south, beginning and ending at Grant Park in the heart of the city.

The Chicago Marathon is popular due to the number of incredible records that people have set over its distance, and we could see more fantastic times at this year's entry. Top-tier runners like Benson Kipruto, Kelvin Kiptum and Ruth Chepngetich will all be on the streets for this race.

How to watch the Chicago Marathon in the US

The Chicago Marathon will be airing on NBC Chicago and NBC Sports Chicago for English-language coverage and NBC Telemundo for Spanish-language coverage, so if you have access to these channels, you're sorted. 

Live streams will also be shown on the NBC Sports Chicago website for free.

Want alternatives? Don't worry, there are other options. Firstly, there's the Olympic Channel on your TV or the Olympics website which will both be airing coverage of the marathon for free.

Alternatively, there's FloTrack, a streaming service for athletics which will be hosting a live stream too. This is a paid service that costs $29.99 monthly or $149.99 annually (which is split into monthly payments equalling $12.49 each month). You can find FloTrack here.

A final option is Peacock, as NBC will livestream the race on its official streaming app for people around the US to watch. You'll need to pay $5.99 per month for the basic ad-enabled plan, or $11.99 to drop ads.

So when does the race start? Here are the timings, converted into different time zones:

  • Wheelchair: 8:20 am ET / 7:20 am CT / 6:20 am MT / 5:20 am PT
  • Handcycle : 8:23 am ET / 7:23 am CT / 6:23 am MT / 5:23 am PT.
  • Wave 1 (red): 8:30 am ET / 7:30 am CT / 6:30 am MT / 5:30 am PT
  • Wave 2 (blue): 9 am ET / 8 am CT / 7 am MT / 6 am PT
  • Wave 3  (orange): 9:35 am ET / 8:35 am CT / 7:35 am MT / 6:35 am PT

How to watch the Chicago Marathon in the UK

Can you watch the Chicago Marathon in the UK? Possibly, but it's not a method we'd rely on, and you might be safer scrolling down to our VPN section, in order to catch a stream from elsewhere in the world.

That's because, while most marathons are aired through Flotrack, the site is providing contradictory information on whether there will be a live stream of the Chicago Marathon or not. While the race is included on its official calendar, the listing itself states "this event is unavailable in your area" to UK viewers. 

So it's hard to tell ahead of time whether you'll be able to watch the Chicago Marathon on the athletics streaming service, and in the interests of safety, we'd recommend avoiding paying for it, just in case.

The race itself begins at 1:20 pm for the wheelchair race, 1:30 for the first runners' wave, 2 pm for the second wave of runners and 2:35 for the final dispatch.

How to watch the Chicago Marathon 2023 everywhere else

If you're going to be away from your normal TV setup but still want to watch the Chicago Maraton, you might run into some problems. Thankfully, you can solve this exact issue with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). 

A VPN lets you change your IP address to that of the area of what you want to watch, meaning you can tune in to your favorite shows, sports or other content even if you're not there. Our favorite is ExpressVPN, which is the No. 1-rated VPN in the world right now according to our sister site, TechRadar.

How to use a VPN to watch any stream


ExpressVPN is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. 

It's straightforward and easy to use, has great security, is available on loads of streaming devices and, best of all, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out 100% risk-free.

Tom Bedford
Streaming and Ecommerce Writer

Tom is the streaming and ecommerce writer at What to Watch, covering streaming services in the US and UK. His goal is to help you navigate the busy and confusing online video market, to help you find the TV, movies and sports that you're looking for without having to spend too much money.