Hundreds of runners enjoyed sunny skies and an improved Oakland Avenue Saturday at the 2011 Great Pumpkin Run 5K race.

Hundreds of runners enjoyed sunny skies and an improved Oakland Avenue Saturday at the 2011 Great Pumpkin Run 5K race.

Phillip Cochran of Columbus won the race with a time of 16:04.

“It felt great” to finish with the top time, Cochran said.

“Last year there were two guys who finished under 15 minutes and I came in fourth,” he said. “This is only the second year I’ve run this race, so I was pleased with the results.”

Running “is my passion,” Cochran said.

“I feel like it’s something I have a God-given talent for and I just feel I should use it and try to get better at it,” he said.

The top female finisher was Andrea Kelsey of Kettering, who ran the race in a time of 19:19.

“It was really exciting” to finish with the fastest time among women, Kelsey said.

“I was pleased because I’m coming off of having knee surgery,” she said. “This was essentially my first race since then.

“I’m just grateful I have the ability to run,” Kelsey said.

She said she enjoys the challenge of “just trying to improve in every race I run.

“I enjoy the runners’ community and the ‘runner’s high’ you get,” Kelsey said. “It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe, but you can’t beat it.”

Saturday was the first time she participated in the Pumpkin Run.

“I really like the course, running through the neighborhood,” Kelsey said. “People are lining the street, cheering you on. It’s a great atmosphere.

“I’ll definitely be back next year,” she said.