Ok let´s face it, when you think about Pamplona, the first thing that comes to mind is the non-stop party that we have between July 6th and July 14th, but your second thought should be, how on earth, you do the running of the bulls. I hope you don´t need any advice in knowing how to party, but running with bulls, is a bit different than running back at home and there are a few things, you should know before, during and after the run. Here are 11 tips to try to make the best of it and be safe-ish as well.
11 tip to survive the running of the bulls
- A lot of people think that you need to sign up to be able to run. This is a myth, and unfortunately some people have been scammed with this and have paid many euros for a fake pass. You do not need to sign in, just show up and run.
- Get some sleep! You really need to be well rested and awake. Coffee or a warm soup (we call it caldo) works miracles at this time in the morning. You can caldo everywhere in town. Personally, I never eat breakfast before the run, food plus stress is not a good combination…
- I recommend you get to the starting point by 7:00 am. This way you can get a feeling for the environment and make it yours. Decide what part of the route you will run and walk it a couple of times up and down. You need to control your surroundings.
- Warm upa little bit or a lot before the run. People who have never run with the bulls don´t warm up. Many feel weird doing it in the middle of a street packed with stressed participants. If you look around, the experienced runners are warming up. You need to be prepared to run, jump, etc.…
- Buy yourself anewspaper (“Diario de Navarra” & “Diario de Noticias” are the local ones) and roll it up. This will give you something to release stress with and you will also be able to check inside for the pictures and weights of the bulls that will run with you.
- Remember thatnot all the bulls are black. They can be white, blond, brown, redhaired, etc.… and this is when your newspaper comes handy.
- At8:00 you will hear a rocket, that signals the beginning of the run. Unless you are very close to the start, the herd will take some time to reach you, so stand against the wall, don’t forget to breathe and wait until you feel the bulls. Trust me, you will feel them before you see them.
- Run as fast as you can. Once the herd passes by, don’t try to over run them, some gates will be closed once the bulls pass, so they cannot run back.
- If a bull stops, there isno need to be the hero of the day, let the professionals take care of it. Get out of there as fast as you can! It is tempting to stay but this is the most dangerous situation during the run. You will see people dressed in green, they are the shepherds in town. Respect them!
- Remember:no alcohol, no cameras, no backpacks and wear tennis shoes. If you don´t follow any of these rules, the police will invite you to leave. It is tempting to film the run, but please don´t do it!
- My last recommendation,run faster than somebody else, so if somebody is gored, it won’t be you. LOL
On travel radio show
Last week I had the pleasure of joining ELISABETH HARRYMAN & PAUL LASTEY on their radio show to talk about the running of the bulls. Their show is broadcasted on the American Forces Radio all around the world.