Ready to run with the bulls?

Pamplona Travel Tips - Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain

If you are reading this you are probably planning to run with the bulls…..and if you want to run you may know that running with the bulls is dangerous. It requires some physical preparation, common sense and the desire for a once in a lifetime experience.

Please enjoy a few tips so you have all the fun and less of the stress for a truly unique experience:

Select in advance the section in which you run

Many people think that running of the bulls means you run from Corralillo Santo Domingo in a straight line to the bullring … and this is far from reality. One of the most important keys to success is to understand and prepare for the different sections or choose a specific section and then know how to run each one:

Santo Domingo: The first and one of the most dangerous stretches of the running of the bulls, is run by the most experienced runners. This section consists of 280 metres, where the bulls run very quickly and where there is no room for shelter. Also in this section is a figure of San Fermín, where the runners, sing a prayer to the saint just before the run begins.

City Hall: The longest stretch of the race with more room and a stretch where it is easy to find shelter. The bulls typically run very close to the edge of the fence.

Mercaderes: This is a very dangerous stretch where the famous death man’s corner is. If you want to run in this section, know that this will curve the right, near an area that is closed off.

Estafeta: In this section the most dangerous thing, is meet bulls are separated from the group that could fall on the curve, therefore, although I’ve seen that the bulls have passed, you must be very aware if any are missing.

Normally, at this point, the bulls are more tired and go a bit more slow, but is a long stretch and you have to know when you be away. Always be alert to your surrondings. Do not try to run along the street, the bulls are fast and there are many people… you have to know when to turn away, because if you do not maneuver well, you can fall and hurt yourself or cause a fall.

Telefónica: The bulls are slower but can be separated also part of the section is a little hard and the bulls

Callejón (Alley): one of the most dangerous sections of the enclosure, is the part that is before entering the square and is very dangerous because of the possibility of creating human lots. If you are thinking to run at this stretch, the most important thing is to not get up if you fall, if this happens, roll to one side and take refuge escaping hole in the wall.

Arrive to the bull run right on time

At 7:00am the police and street cleaners close the street to start cleaning bottles and removing people who are not able to run. The street Mercaderes and Estafeta remain empty. So if you want to run you have to access the course before 7:30 am in the morning by the gates at the Plaza Consistorial.

You must stay in the City Hall Square or the Cuesta de Santo Domingo until opening of the municipal police barriers. At that point, go to the area of the race where you have chosen to start the race. At 7:30am the access gates are closed and no one is allowed leave from the bull route.

Choose your outfit carefully

To run you must have slept well, dress in white comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes (running shoes). Although it should be obvious, it is a good idea to be completely sober. You can celebrate afterwards at any of the cafés mentioned in earlier blog postings! Do not wear wearing anything that might fall off when you are running (backpacks, cameras, video, bottles… are not allowed).

If you fall, do not get up

If you fall while running, the most important thing is not up until the 6 bulls have passed. When the bulls have passed, another runner will touch you the back and then you can get up.

If you fall and stand still on the floor with your hands covering your head, bulls pass by.

If you have a chance, run the days when there are fewer people, the busiest days are 7th and 8th and weekends.

Do not distract or touch the bulls

This could be very dangerous for you and the other runners.

Do not pull away from the race when you have the 6 bulls ahead 
If you do this can distract the bull and make any turns his back, causing a very dangerous situation.

Respect pastores

The pastores are located behind the pack with their sticks, their job is to try and keep the pack of bulls compact and distract the bulls from those who try to touch or distract the animals. please, respect his work.

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