A crisp and sunny day greeted local Johnstown area runners in the Columbus Marathon last Sunday.

A crisp and sunny day greeted local Johnstown area runners in the Columbus Marathon last Sunday.

"You forget how pretty downtown Columbus can be until you run through it like that," said Holli Hendren Ellis, a 1994 graduate of Johnstown High School and previous marathon runner and triathlete. Ellis ran the half-marathon Sunday with her twin sister, Heidi Hendren Savage, and their mother, Sharon Hendren, a Johnstown council member.

"Even though Heidi is from out of town, we still get together for long training runs," Ellis said. "It brings us closer and takes the monotony out of it."

"I enjoyed running with my sister during training because we got to chat without our kids for 10 miles," Savage said.

Sunday marked her first half-marathon, and she said it was much more fun than she'd anticipated.

"There was so much energy and excitement there," Savage said. "I went from dreading it to actually experiencing a runner's high. My favorite memory was at the nine-mile mark, where my husband and little girl were cheering for me. That was great. I felt like I accomplished something."

Ellis, Savage and Hendren were three of 3,056 women who finished the half-marathon, with a total of 5,290 runners crossing the finish line. Other Johnstown runners who participated in the half-marathon included Elizabeth Perkins, Kris and Steve Muir, Meredith Buzzi, Mindy Sue Chalfant, John Martin, Emily Morris, Greg Morris, Joy Rhodeback, Susan Snowden, Kara Stiles and Jack Stiles.

The full marathon had 3,867 finishers, among them local runners Bob Rammon, Susan Massey, Rick Dague, Greg Bammerlin, Dan Stambaugh and Catherine Todd.

Rammon said his first marathon in a decade was, at nearly 60 years of age, "the most painful thing" he'd ever done.

"I'd planned to stop at 16 miles, but then I kept going to see a buddy at the 22-mile mark," Rammon said. "I planned to stop there, but my nieces were there and kept yelling, 'Don't quit!' and then they were running with me so I couldn't.

"I told them I'd never forgive them for that," he laughed.

Rammon did complete the marathon and, though he officially called it a "bad run," he said he'd probably be out running again this week.

"For all that I joke about it, who knows what I'll do next?" he said. "Exercising has to be a lifestyle. I run because I feel better and stronger. Races are great because I like getting out there and meeting people, encouraging them."

Finish times for all participating runners are available online at www.columbusmarathon.com by entering participants' first and last names.