PAMPLONA BULL RUN FAQS
Who can enter the bull run?
- It is free to enter. Anybody over 18 years old, sober and in good physical shape can run with the bulls once you respect the bulls by running in-front and never ever touching them. Read more here about the Official bull run rules for of the Running of the Bulls
What is the bull run?
- The running of the bulls is the best known event of the San Fermin Festival. Each morning thousands of people run in front of six fighting bulls and six steers charging from the pens in Santo Domingo to the bullring.
Where does it take place?
- In the historic old town of pamplona, starting at Santo Domingo and ending in the bullring. 850 meters in total. Starting at Santo Domingo - Mercaderes - Estafeta - Telefonica - Callejon and finishing in the Plaza de Toros bullring
When is the running of the bulls?
- Daily at 8 a.m. between the 7 - 14 july. If you plan on running with the bulls, be in position no later than 7:00 am. Usually the bull run lasts about 3 minutes.
Why is there a bull run?
- The tradition dates back to medieval times when the bulls were herded in the early morning through the streets of pamplona to the bullring for the evening bullfight.
Is the bull run dangerous?
- Yes. you will be competing against six fighting bulls and six bullocks weighing a minimum of 500 kilos each plus thousands of scarred humans. The main danger to the pamplona runners will be the hundreds of scared men who will trip or fall and may pull you down to the ground with them, so be prepared to push or be pushed! Since 1924 there have been 15 recorded deaths, countless gorings, bad falls and all kinds of physical damage, to name just a few. The last person killed by a bull goring was bullrunner Daniel Jimeno Romero, 22 years old on 10 july 2009. The most dangerous section where eight of the fifteen deaths have been is Callejon (tunnel into the bullring) and at the top of Santo Domingo where three lives were lost.
Access to the pamplona bull run?
- To take part, you need to enter the Town Hall square before 7 am. Enter via the gates of the Plaza Consistorial(town hall) square. This is a holding area for the runners before the bull run starts. The Municipal Police will open the barriers and you can go to your chosen starting point. Once inside the safety barriers, it is forbidden to leave the bull run route.
Starting and Finishing points
- Choose between a ten to one hundred metre section to run with the bulls and stick to it. E.g. start at the green door and stop running at the red door
- Comfortable streamlined clothes are best suited for the bull run. Never carry cameras or rucksacks with you. Take off your red neckerchief, belt and red waist sash before the bull run.
- You MUST looking in front, behind and at the track ahead at ALL times. Once the bulls are alongside you then you are in the best and safest place. Just keep running in front of the bulls. The other bull runners will not get in your way. If you fall, assume the phoetal position, cover your head with your arms and do NOT move, whatever happens.
Bull Run Route
- The original route of the bull run ended in the main square the Plaza del Castillo and was changed in 1844 when the bullring was built. The bull run passed estafeta street 1856 for the first time.
- Double fences, as safety measures, were first used in 1776 to clearly mark the bull run route. Made from the Fir tree and more than 1,800 planks, 590 posts, 200 palisades, 5,000 wedges and bolts and 40 gates to maximize security and a smooth running of the bulls.
- The bull run consists of six fighting bulls which will fight in the bullring the same evening. Plus six oxen also run with the bulls. The oxen have bells around their necks.Two minutes later comes another three oxen as sweepers in the event of a loose bulls etc. When a bull separates from the herd, they are at their most dangerous.
- The cowherders, who run behind the bulls with their long thin sticks. They try to keep the pack together and castigate those who do not RESPECT the bulls by distracting or touching the bulls.