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Ryjov switched into high gear

By Jim Greenidge, Globe Staff, 4/17/2001

edor Ryjov of Russia moved up one notch in the men's masters division of the Boston Marathon. And it was the notch that matters most.

Ryjov, runner-up last year, traded places with defending champion Joshua Kipkemboi of Kenya, winning the 40-and-older class yesterday with a time of 2 hours 13 minutes 54 seconds, good for eighth overall.

Kipkemboi, who now lives in Concord, finished 11th overall with a time of 2:14:47.

''I feel very happy with my run,'' said Ryjov, 41, through an interpreter. ''Joshua is the runner I wanted to beat, so I was pleased with my change in place. `I passed him with about a mile and a half left in the race. We weren't talking to one another, though. I just passed him.''

In his Boston debut last year, Ryjov finished in 2:17:38, 27 seconds behind Kipkemboi. Ryjov couldn't really explain his improvement.

''You're always going against the elite runners rather than the other masters,'' he said.

Ryjov was pleasantly surprised to learn his overall standing.

''That made me feel great,'' he said. ''To be in the top 10 in Boston, it's a nice situation. I didn't really believe it at first.''

Russian distance runners haven't merited much international attention, but Ryjov expects that to change soon.

''In three or five years,'' he said, ''you'll hear about the young Russians that are coming and they'll be every bit as good as the Kenyans.''

Ryjov, who has lived in Portugal the last three years, runs several marathons each year, but Boston has become a favorite.

''This is a very good course with plenty of hills,'' he said. ''It's a very good masters race.''

In the women's division, Gitte Karlshoj of Denmark repeated as champion, finishing 13th overall in 2:36:36. Gordon Bakoulis of New York was runner-up (2:43:16, 19th overall).

''Looking to win the masters was my main goal,'' said Karlshoj, 41. ''When I was coming in, I counted the runners in front of me and I noticed that I was 13th. The hills took quite a bit of my strength out of me, though. It hurt my legs going up all those hills.''

She spent most of yesterday running alone.

''I was with the men most of the time, no one I really know, though,'' she said. ''I kept moving, not being with one person too long.''

Karlshoj, who works part-time as a physical therapist, didn't start running until she was 23.

''That's when my brother became the trainer of the running club in my hometown,'' she said. ''He got me running and I've stayed with it, even though I'm starting to feel it from time to time now.''

This story ran on page G05 of the Boston Globe on 4/17/2001.
© Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.

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