Following the success of Ras yr Iaith (translation: Race for the Language) held in 2014, arrangements are now in place to hold the race again in 2016, with the ambition to extend the race from Bangor to Llandeilo, visiting over 20 towns in between.
The Ras yr Iaith Committee met this year during the National Eisteddfod in Meifod, and following that meeting, we are pleased to announce the intention to hold the race on the 6, 7,8 July 2016. The Race will run through the town centres along the Western half of Wales, starting in Bangor on the 6 July and finishing in Llandeilo on Friday the 8 July 2016. Ras officers are now in discussion with the relevant authorities to confirm the route.
A number of Welsh language organisations have come together in aide of organising this ambitious project including: Huaniaith, Menter Iaith Conwy, Maldwyn, Cered (Ceredigion), Sir Benfro (Pembrokeshire), Gorllewin Sir Gâr (West Carms) and Bro Dinefwr. Mentrau Iaith Cymru centrally and the new language initiative in Bangor, alongside local groups in Gwynedd are also involved in the scheme.
Ras yr Iaith is based on similar races organised in Brittany, Ireland and the Basque Country. It’s important to stress that this isn’t a competitive race but a fun relay race where the language baton is carried from one town centre to another. Businesses, clubs, organisations, schools or families pay £50 to sponsor 1km and any number of people can run that stretch of the race.
Emily Cole, National Coordinator, Mentrau Iaith Cymru said:
“Mentrau Iaith Cymru is eager to be a part of Ras yr Iaith, especially considering its success in 2014. The Mentrau have a network of groups and specialise in engaging with people from all kinds of background and we feel that Ras yr Iaith offers a golden opportunity to promote and celebrate the Welsh language.
“In the longer term, we would love to see the race extend all over Wales, because the language should be celebrated in each and every part of Wales. The race in 2016 will hopefully be a significant step towards achieving this.”
Siôn Jobbins, Chair of Ras yr Iaith added:
“Organising Ras yr Iaith poses an ambitious challenge – but then, revitalising the Welsh language poses no more a greater challenge. By organising the race we show the good will, enthusiasm and determination that the people of Wales have to ensure that the Welsh language thrives and flourishes in Wales.
“I’m ever so pleased that many Mentrau Iaith are joining with us. It’s great being able to say that the second race will be greater and bigger than the first.”
Notes to editors:
Proposed Course of the Race:
The Race is intended to run between the following towns: Bangor, Bethesda, Llanrwst, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Trawsfynydd, Dolgellau, Machynlleth
Aberystwyth, Tregaron, Llanbedr PS, Aberaeron, New Quay, Llandysul, Cardigan
Newcastle Emlyn, Crymych, Narberth, San Clêr, Carmarthen, Ammanford, Llandyfri, Llandeilo
Ras yr Iaith 2014 Facts (the last time the race was held)
● 9 Town in one day, held in Ceredigion
● 1,000 runners
● 117 local sponsors
● 150 stewards
● 2,000+ supporting the race along the roadsides and during the opening and closing ceremonies.
Ras yr iaith, with the money raised from sponsors, allocates grants to projects promoting the Welsh language. Following the success of Ras yr Iaith 2014, £4,000 worth of grants was allocated to groups and initiatives throughout the area the race was held. This included various musical festivals such as Gŵyl Nôl a Mlaen and Tregaroc, to Yoga lessons and a Welsh language Drama Festival.
Siôn Jobbins: firstname.lastname@example.org