Rith 2010, an innovative way to promote the Irish language through a 1,600 km relay-run, will begin in Belfast on March 9 and finish in Galway city on St Patrick’s Day.
Thousands will run through 250 towns across 15 counties “ar son na Gaeilge” with the specially designed baton which will hold a secret message from the President of Ireland, which will not be revealed until the end of the run.
Rith 2010 is the first event of its kind in Ireland and it’s modelled on the Basque Country’s Korrika which has been established since 1980. Last year more than 600,000 people took part in Korrika which is accompanied by music, cultural activities, and thousands of spectators along the way.
The objective of Rith 2010 is also to raise money which will be invested into Irish language projects throughout the country.
“We’re very excited about this event,” says Siobhán Seoighe, events manager, Rith 2010. “We’ve seen how the Basque Country celebrate their language and culture in such a healthy way.”
Community groups, school groups, clubs, and individuals are all invited to buy a kilometer and take part at any stage of the 1,600km course. For more information see www.rith.ie