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Runners representing 99 countries and 50 states hit the pavement, run the Boston Marathon

BOSTON MARATHON STARTING LINE (NBC SPORTS).jpg

Runners are representing 99 countries and all 50 states. They received so much support at the starting line, from both spectators and law enforcement. "It's honestly amazing how it brings everyone together,” said one spectator. "It's part of the culture of the town,” another chimed in.

Thousands of athletes and spectators hit the town square for the 121st running of the Boston Marathon.

"This is my eighth consecutive one since 2010,'” said one runner. “I ran it in '15 when it poured, the 26.2"

This tradition is held together by a plan months in the making. The FBI, bomb detection dogs, local agencies and more on the ground. A drone and helicopters overhead. The tight security four years after the bombings, a comfort to those who live just a few houses down.

"The energy is amazing, it starts a week before, there's helicopters flying around,” said one resident who lives near the marathon route.

As for the runners, some say conditions could have been a bit cooler.

“It’s a bit warm,” said one runner. We left Miami and I bet it's not much warmer than it is here,”

But they say no elements could stop them, when they have a million reasons to run.

“I'm running for the Boston children's hospital,” said one male runner.

"I was 70 pounds heavier, I lost a bunch of weight, I just took to running,” said another runner.

“It means the world to me to be back again and just show the world that runners are unstoppable. Boston is unstoppable,” said runner Lisa Giorgis of Pennsylvania.

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