When you think of 10K races, you think of writer James Joyce. Waiting. No, it’s not like that. unless you are Martin Hanleythe brains behind an ingenious hybrid event called James Joyce Ramble in Dedham, a town of 25,000 inhabitants in the state of Massachusetts, United States. And today, on the 80th anniversary of the death of the Irish writer who wrote ‘Ulysses’, is a good time to remember him.
Martin Hanley was running marathons in the early 1980s and was eager to build a race a little different from the norm, one that drew inspiration from his Irish heritage. As reported by bostonglobeHanley capitalized on the rambling writing style of Joyce, also the author of ‘Dubliners’ and in particular a notoriously difficult passage from ‘Finnegans Wake’: “The river’s run, past Adam and Eve, from the turn of the bank up the curve of the bay, it takes us on a comfortable way back to Howth Castle and its environs”.
Howth Castle isn’t in the neighborhood, but the Ramble, which had 244 runners in 1984 and now has more than 1,000 participants, plus actors dressed in period garb (‘Dubliners’ was published in 1914, ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ in 1939) reading passages of Joyce’s sometimes impenetrable works as the corridors pass. In this race, the traditional roles are reversed a bit and the runners “applaud us,” he says. Lyn DeBenedictisa longtime reader of the Ramble, who has even once become United States 10K Championship master level.
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Every mile dedicated to a Joyce book
Every mile of James Joyce Ramble it is dedicated to a different work of the Irish immortal. Mile 1 features readings of ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ and Mile 2 features ‘Ulysses’. The last mile, perhaps too appropriately, has readings from Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead’. The race may be the only American road test with a stage manager, a person who coordinates the cast of actor-readers. jonathan niles he tells them to use their imaginations and “look in your closet for a tweed coat, a straw boater, or a bow tie.” Sometimes someone wears an eye patch, like Joyce.
“We’re going to keep going,” insists Martin Hanley. “I hope that people can feel safe enough to join us and come together as a community, and feel the love that we have for each other.” You, reader, can do the James Joyce Ramble. And even on the same day, at the Endicott Estate in Dedham.
The race was suspended in 2020 and 2021, but plans to return once the pandemic is over next Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 11 in the morning.
Via: Runner’s World US
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80 years have passed since the death of James Joyce, the writer with his own 10K career
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