On the 22nd of June at 10am thousands of children all over Wales will be running Ras yr Iaith (the language race) to enjoy and celebrate Cymraeg (the Welsh language).
Ras yr Iaith is not an ordinary competitive race, it’s an event to enjoy the Welsh language with friends. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the language, to show pride and confidence in the language and to show to the world that it has people’s support. The race is for everybody – if you speak Cymraeg or not.
The race is based on a race called ‘Korrika’ in the Basque Country, which has inspired ‘Ar Redadeg’, a similar race in Brittany. There are other similar races in Ireland, Catalunia and Galicia. In 2014, 2016 and 2018 Ras yr Iaith went all over Wales from one place to another passing the language baton on. A virtual race in 2020 raised thousands of pounds towards charities of the Health Boards in Wales.
This year there will be 11 races all over Wales at the same time to create one big event across the country. The race will be in towns like Llangefni, y Rhyl, Aberystwyth, Wdig, Caerffili and the city of Swansea – to name only a few. Some of them will be along promenades and some in stadiums. The children in Connah’s Quay will even run on an Olympic trac! Schools, community groups and Welsh learners will run together and enjoy a variety of entertainment – with performances by Mei Gwynedd in Aberystwyth, caricaturing sessions with Siôn Tomos Owen and animation sessions in Pontypridd and gigs with some local bands and school bands. Some of the races will be led by well-known people like Dyfan Parry (Ffit Cymru) in Porthcawl and Dewi Pws in Nefyn.