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What does ‘Rith’ mean?
“Rith’’ means “run” in the Irish language

What is Rith setting out to achieve?
The Rith festival aims to support and encourage the speaking of Irish at a community / local level and to celebrate the Irish language and culture

Is this going to be an annual festival?
The Rith festival will be held in Ireland every two years. 2010 was the inaugural year. Subsequent Rith festivals were held in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Is Rith 2018 just aimed at Irish speakers?
Not at all! Rith 2018 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 an Irish speaker to support the Irish language!

Do I have to buy a kilometre to take part in Rith 2018?
No. Everyone is welcome to run at any stage of the route. Buying a kilometre is an option to get more involved by leading the run and carrying the baton.

Do I need to register to run or can I just come along on the day?
You are welcome to come along and run without registering. If you want to lead the run however, you need to “buy a kilometre” here. The owner of the kilometre will carry the baton and run with their group/school/friends at the front of the run. The owner of the kilometre will also get two official singlets that should be worn by the runners that will be carrying the baton.

How will Rith 2018 benefit the Irish language?
Rith 2018 will give the opportunity to communities along the route to celebrate the Irish language including community groups, sports clubs Irish language organisations or individual people and all who wish to demonstrate their support for the language will get involved in the festival. Rith 2018 coincides with “Seachtain na Gaeilge” (Irish language week) and aims to compliment it through encouraging people to attend organised events along the route. We hope that Rith 2018 will inspire many people in Ireland, from all backgrounds, to learn or improve their Irish once the festival has passed.

I’d like to get involved. What should I do?
Great! There are many ways that you can help. Check out the homepage and choose one of these options:

  • Become a volunteer: You can help in your town, your county or get involved with the team in organising the national event
  • Buy a kilometre: You can run it yourself, leading Rith 2018 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 online donation – €5, €10 – we appreciate any support that you can give us

Will it be safe to run on the main roads, especially at night time?
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 kilometre owners

  • Rith 2018 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
  • Runners at night time are asked to wear appropriate reflective clothing/marking
  • Children will not be allowed run at night
  • Rith 2018 is working with the PSNI and An Garda Síochána on all aspects of the run including safety and risk management
  • Details of the run will be provided to all county councils and to AA Roadwatch 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 9km/hour. It will be slower than this in towns/villages and quicker than this outside of the towns.

What message will be carried inside the baton?
A message of support for the Irish language, written by the President of Ireland, will be carried in the baton for the duration of the run. The message will be read out at the closure of the event outside the GPO in Dublin.

What happens if it is raining?
We keep running – it is Ireland after all!

Why isn’t every kilometre available to buy from the website?
Most of the kilometres in the centre of the cities, towns and villages are reserved for schools, community groups, sports clubs etc. If you wish to purchase a reserved kilometre on behalf of a school/group, you should contact the area coordinator for your county by choosing that option from the website on the buy a kilometre page.

Will there be events for children?
Yes. A full programme of events for adults and children will be organised along the route as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge. These will be published here.

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.

Will there be a Rith in 2019?
No! We’re taking a well deserved rest. The next Rith will be help as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge, in March 2020.

Why isn’t Rith 2018 coming to my town?
The route for the Rith 2018 festival was set out by the organising team. A new route will be set for Rith 2020 and Rith 2022 so we may make it to your town yet! For 2018, if we don’t make it to your town, why not think about organising a trip from your town to another town on the Rith 2018 route and maybe even get involved by buying a kilometre there!

Who organises Rith 2018?
A team of volunteers who want to make a difference and make the Irish language relevant for generations to come! Rith 2018 is supported by Conradh na Gaeilge, Glór na nGael, Seachtain na Gaeilge, and many other organisations that actively support and promote the Irish language.

Where does the money raised go to?
A special monetary fund is being set-up as a result of Rith. This fund will be used to support projects in Ireland that promote and encourage the use of the Irish language as a community language. The fully accountable fund will be managed by a fund management committee that includes representation from various Irish language support bodies and groups. The management of the fund will follow international best practice for charity organisations. The details of the management and operation of this Irish language support fund are published on

How does Rith 2018 suggest that we gather the money required to pay for a kilometre

Any way that you like but here are a few suggestions:

  • Organise a mini-run for your school or club
  • Organise a competition where the winner will be the baton carrier for your Rith 2018 kilometre
  • For schools, how abaout a No Uniform day?
  • And if you collect more money than you need to buy the kilometre, consider putting it towards some Irish language event in your school/club around the time of the Rith
  • Rith 2018 will be issuing official sponsorship cards to help clubs, schools etc. raise the necessary fund to buy a kilometre. These sponsorship cards will be made available later in the year.

Has any other country run a similar event?
Yes. Ireland is the third country to run this type of language festival. 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 festival started in Brittany in 2008 and had over 10,000 participants. Wales held its first run, Ras yr Iaith, in 2014.

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