What is Ras yr Iaith setting out to achieve?
Ras yr Iaith (the Language Race or the Race of the Language) aims to raise the profile and confidence of the Welsh language, promote a physical health and strengthen our communities.
Is this going to be an annual festival?
The intention is to hold Ras yr Iaith every two years. That’s the experience and advice of the other language races (Korrika, Redadeg, Rith). It’s intended to hold the next Ras in 2016 when it will include more counties and cover a wider part of Wales. This year’s organisers and runners will be the pioneers!
Is Ras just aimed at Welsh speakers?
Not at all! Ras yr Iaith is open to anybody who wants to take part. Anybody can run at any time. Everyone is welcome to join in at any stage and to attend the events that will be held along the route. Remember you don’t have to be a Welsh to speak Welsh and you don’t have to speak Welsh to support the Welsh language!
Do I have to sponsor a stretch to run in Ras yr Iaith?
We suggest you join in with a club or society to sponsor a stretch of the race for £50 – or set-up your own group of friends or family to pay that £50. You may also run as an individual and raise money through sponsorship. You are, of course, welcome to donate more than £50!
How do I sponsor a stretch?
The best way to show that you wish to sponsor or run a stretch is through the local committee. These are being set-up at the moment. Is you aren’t sure how to get in touch with the committee, then, contact your local Menter Iaith.
Do I need to register to run or can I just come along on the day?
No. You will need to inform us or rather, through a club, society or family, and sponsor a stretch to run. The sponsors will have the opportunity to carry the baton as part of that stretch of the race.
Does Ras yr Iaith run throughout the night, 24 hours a day?
No. The Korrika and Redadeg (the language races in the Basque Country and Brittany) run non-stop throughout the day and nigh! But the Irish an Rith, doesn’t. We’ve decided that Ras yr Iaith will run during the day, starting at about 9.00am and finishing about 8.00pm, depending on the route. Events will be held at towns after some of the stretches.
How will the Ras benefit the Welsh language?
The experience of seeing thousands of people running for the Welsh language will be a huge boost t the confidence of the language. It will also be a boost for Welsh language clubs and societies and create a fun atmosphere for people to use their Welsh. Added to that is Ras yr Iaith’s commitment to distribute any profit made after administrating the event into grants for groups who promote or use the language.
I’d like to get involved. What should I do?
Great! There are many ways that you can help. You can:
- Become a volunteer and join the local committee. We need people with all kinds of skills (and none!). We need people who can drive the support vehicles, help with distribution of posters and much more.
- Sponsor a stretch: You can run it yourself or opt not to run it when you purchase it – we will organise a runner to run it on your behalf!
- You can make an donation. Any sum would be appreciated, from just £5 to more, or in terms of time or goods. Please send your cheques to Rhedadeg Ltd, the not for profit company set up specifically to help organise the Ras and who deal with the financial administration. Rhedadeg’s register address is: ’Ty Nant’. Rhiw Briallu, Llanbadrn Fawr, Aberystwyth SY23 3SE however, please send your money to Rhedadeg d/o Arwel Jones, ‘Garreg Lwyd’, Ffordd Penglais, Aberystwyth SY23 2EU.
Will it be safe to run on the main roads?
The safety of all runners is paramount for the organising team. A detailed safety guide will be published on the website closer to the time of the festival. The guide will also be sent to all kilometer owners
- Ras yr Iaith will publish a safety policy on all aspects of the event
- The run will be escorted by a number of official vehicles
- A team of stewards will accompany the run managing the safety of the runners
- All runners will run behind a lead van that will be marked and will have warning lights
- The Ras will be stewarded by experienced runners running along the ‘fun runners’. The stewards will wear high-viz jackets.
- Ras yr Iaith is working with Dyfed-Powys Police and the highway authorities of Powys, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire on all aspects of the run including safety and risk management
- Dr Richard Edwards of Aberystwyth will accompany the Ras in on of our vehicles for the whole of the route.
- Details of the run will be provided to all county councils to keep the public informed and to encourage motorist to slow down when approaching the run
Do you have to be very fit to take part?
You can run whatever distance you are comfortable with so having a good fitness level should only be important if you wish to run over a prolonged distance. The pace of the run will be typically slower in the towns and villages and quicker outside of the towns.
What speed will runners be running?
The average speed of the run will be 9 km an hour (6 mph). It will be slower than this in towns and villages but quicker than this outside of the towns.
What message will be carried inside the baton?
A specially commissioned secret message will be written by a prominent Welsh person and inserted inside the Ras baton. The message will be read out at the end of the Ras.
What happens if it is raining?
We keep running – it is Wales after all!
Can children run in the event over a short distance?
Children are welcome to run in urban areas but under adult supervision only. The run generally slows to a fast walk/slow run in the towns but picks up pace outside of the town.
Who is organising the Ras?
A team of volunteers organise Ras yr Iaith. We’re dependent on clubs, societies and individuals giving their time and energy to make this positive event come true. Behind them is the much appreciated practical known-how and support of the Mentrau Iaith (Welsh Language Initiatives) across Wales. Rhedadeg Ltd (a not-for-profit) deals with the financial administration.
What happens to the £50 we pay to sponsor the Ras?
The financial aspect of the Ras is administrated by Rhedadeg Ltd, a not-for-profit company formed specifically to held run Ras yr Iaith. The money raised by the Ras will day for the promotional material and logistics of the run. However, any profit made after paying the Ras costs will be distributed in the form of grants towards societies who use or promote the Welsh language.
Has any other country run a similar event?
Yes. The Korrika started in the Basque Country in 1980 and is still going 30 years later with over half a million people participating in recent years. The Ar Redadeg started in Brittany in 2008 and had over 10,000 participants. The Irish Rith started in 2010 and has run through the country’s towns, villages and cities on both side of the border. It’s Wales’s turn now!