When Anne Phillips moved back to central Ohio in 2006 after 17 years in California, an old high school friend who had taken up running encouraged her to do the same.

When Anne Phillips moved back to central Ohio in 2006 after 17 years in California, an old high school friend who had taken up running encouraged her to do the same.

Phillips, who settled in Grove City upon her return, tried it.

And she liked it, so much so that she recently went back to California to run in a half marathon on the famously hilly streets of San Francisco. Phillips was accompanied by her daughter, Keely Burnham, which was enjoyable, and it was all for a good cause, which made the experience all the more worthwhile.

Phillips and Burnham ran in the 2008 Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Phillips prepared for the grueling 13-plus-mile half marathon with the help of Team in Training, an endurance sports program.

Team in Training was founded in 1988 in Rye, N.Y., by Bruce Cleland, who formed a team to prepare for the New York City Marathon in honor of Cleland's daughter, a leukemia survivor.

Phillips, who works for a dentist in German Village, was already a pretty committed runner by the time she signed on with Ohio Team in Training, at the urging of a son-in-law who is very involved in the organization. That high school friend's urgings had really sparked her interest.

"I never had any interest in running before, ever," Phillips said last week. "It's a wonderful stress release and it just makes you feel good. I never understood what a runner's high was until I had one and then you understand what it's all about."

But jogging with her friend and on her own was hardly preparation for running in a half marathon, which daughter Burnham had challenged her to do, so Phillips began working with Ohio Team in Training the third week in May. The group met every Tuesday and Thursday and every Saturday or Sunday, to not only run but also to get help with nutrition and stretching.

"Little by little they upped the mileage," Phillips said. "They know how to do it."

Mark Twain once famously said that the coldest winter he ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco.

Anne Phillips can testify that fall is no warmer, based on the conditions she, her daughter, around 20,000 other women and 1,000 men encountered on the morning of Oct. 19.

"It was pretty darn cold when we started to run, let me tell you," Phillips said.

But cold is fine when it comes to running. The higher elevation and steeper streets made for a more formidable challenge.

"There are some good, good hills in San Francisco," Phillips said.

Hills and thinner air notwithstanding, Phillips and her daughter, who had run one previous half marathon, were determined to finish.

"Oh, absolutely," Phillips said. "I didn't have any set time I was aiming for. I just wanted to make it from start to finish, which we did."

The Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon is Team in Training's biggest annual fundraiser, and Phillips said this year's event brought in $18 million. The Ohio contingent of between 12 and 15 runners raised $96,000, according to Phillips.

The best part for Phillips was getting to run with her daughter, herself a mother of two.

"It was wonderful," Phillips said. "She was truly an inspiration to me. It was just phenomenal for the two of us to be able to do this together, and for such a good cause. There was just so much adrenaline running through these women. There was nothing like it."

While Phillips said her life has not been touched directly by either leukemia or lymphoma, the cause for which she ran was still close to her heart.

"I have six grandchildren and I'd like to see it cured in their lifetime."