Thousands of runners cross Rock 'N' Roll Marathon finish line

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Thousands of runners cross Rock 'N' Roll Marathon finish line

By Stacey Gualandi. CREATED Nov 17, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- An estimated 30,000 people were off and running on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night.

The water was flowing and the anxiety was showing.

"I looked online for advice, I took a nap and made sure to hydrate to calm my nerves," said first-time marathoner Karen Seitz.

For the first time, runners from 50 states and 52 countries were able to walk, jog and sprint both sides of the Las Vegas Boulevard.

Steve Sorge said, "This is my second year here.  I'm from Toledo, Ohio and I would never miss this race."

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, runners said that they felt safe, especially with the clear plastic bags used for participants belongings.

Security was tight with more officers, in uniform and plain-clothed, and bomb sniffing dogs who checked everything on and off the course.

"In the wake of Boston, we sent a team to Boston to debrief; what we learned from them we brought back here," said Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Lt. Robert Plummer.

Not only were people running for fun, they were also running for a cause.

Todd Wilson said he was representing a teenager who died of Leukemia ( last year, "I'm also celebrating the tenth anniversary of being cancer free."

As grueling as it was, by the time these brave souls crossed the finish line, they say it was well worth the trip.

"Your times actually increase when people are cheering you. It was definitely a good experience," said Justin Tite, who finished just over three and a half hours. He added he'll be back next year.