Ruben Sanca, Brett Ely Win 29th James Joyce Ramble

Both winners were first-time Ramble runners.

The 29th annual James Joyce Ramble saw two new winners, one a race veteran and the other a first timer.

Ruben Sanca, 25, of Dracut, won the race, finishing at 30:19. Brett Ely, 32, of Natick, paced female competitors at 36:10.

The Ramble, a 10K race through the streets of Dedham that is known for placing actors throughout the course who read from James Joyce books, attracted more than 2,000 runners for its latest edition Sunday.

Sanca, who runs with the Greater Boston Track Club, ran the race for the first time. Previously, he won the New Bedford Half Marathon in 2011.

Sanca said the race’s hills were its greatest challenge, and that he enjoyed the actors throughout the course – something he said he hasn’t seen before in any other road race. The Joyce readings, he said, provided a contrast to the crowd noise elsewhere throughout the course.

“You go through patches where the crowds are screaming,” he said. “[The actors] are interesting.” 

Ely, meanwhile, had previously run the race in 2004 and 2005. Injuries and other scheduled races have prevented her from running since, but she said the race had grown significantly in size since her last race. 

“I think its [being the site of the 2011 New England Grand Prix championship] helped bring people out and gave them a chance to see what a beautiful course and unique race it is,” she said.

Both Sanca and Ely said Sunday’s light wind provided a slight challenge, but agreed that the high-50s temperatures were perfect for running overall. 

“It was gorgeous,” said Ely. 

Michael O’Connor, 38, was Dedham’s first finisher at 35:53.

Record finishes for the race stand at 28:45 and 32:54 for men and women respectively. Both records were set in 2001.


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