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PHOENIX -- Organizers of the 2014 P.F. Chang's Rock n' Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon said they expected more than 24,000 runners for Sunday's 11th annual race.

It's the largest running event to take place in the Valley since two explosions went off at the Boston Marathon last year. Uncertainty and fear may set in for athletes at major events such as this race. A local events-security expert offered some tips for runners and spectators to help stay as safe as possible.

"The biggest thing is being aware of your surroundings, and giving more thought to what it is that you're doing," said Robb Corwin, CEO of Pride Group, Full Service Event Management Company.

When it comes to general safety during a large event, it starts with where to park.

Pick a well-lighted area with easy access to the race location, Corwin said. Avoid cutting through buildings and don't leave valuables visible inside the car.

While on the course, Corwin recommended runners wear sunglasses. "You always want to protect your eyes," he said.

Runners who stay in the center of the track can potentially remain away from dangers along the course. "Stay away from the edges, stay away from the crowds, away from mailboxes, from vehicles and buildings," he said.

Finally, anyone at the race should let someone know where they are. Phone apps that share locations during the race can also help friends and family find each other in case of emergency.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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