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Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain

Running of the Bulls fast facts

Where : Pamplona, Spain

Charging bullWhen : Opening ceremony, fireworks display on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Running of the bulls is scheduled every morning thereafter at 8AM until July 14, 2022.

Watch for the next Running of the Bulls from July 7 – 14, 2022 in Pamplona, Spain along with The San Fermin Festival which kicks off the event on July 6 continuing until July 14, 2022.

All about Running of the bulls

It was American writer Ernest Hemingway who helped spread the word of the tradition in such books as "The Sun Also Rises" and "Death in the Afternoon."

The running of the bulls traditionally began as a prelude to a major bullfight. It's a custom that began in the 19th century when townspeople would line the streets to view the bulls being 'run' or transported from their corrals to the arena. Brave teens and young men would then show off their machismo by jumping into the fray as it passed.

running of the bulls in Pamplona
The "pain in Spain" pits man against beast in the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona.

But by modern reckoning, it's not all in good fun. With various injuries having taken place in recent years, one notable terminal mishap occurred in 2009 when a 27-year-old Spaniard, Daniel Jimeno Romero, became the first goring fatality since 1995.

Today, increasing numbers of tourists join the crowds in Pamplona, Spain in July at the famous Running of the Bulls at the annual Fiesta San Fermin.

Running with the bulls 2022

Live from Pamplona.

The San Fermin festival begins in 2022 on July 6 with the opening ceremony. The bull runs begin the following day and continues for 7 days (and nights filled with partying and celebration) until July 14.

Media coverage has taken the annual running of the bulls worldwide to the delight of armchair runners everywhere - with news, updates, daily bull running blogs, pictures, and video appearing almost hourly.

Of particular interest are photos and video clips depicting victory ... for the bull! Today, dramatic gorings, tramplings have become the stuff of Internet legend, as images of victims flipped head-over-heels have become the equivalent of an urban car wreck. Viewers can't look away.


Monument to the bull run in Pamplona
11 meters (36 feet) long, the monument to the bull run is located just off the main square in Pamplona.

Running of the Bulls on TV

Like the World Cup or the Super Bowl, the running of the bulls in Pamplona is broadcast live nationwide in Spain. If you're traveling through the country anytime during the running of the bulls turn to Channel 1, TVE for live coverage each morning beginning at 7:30AM.

Also look to social media or search online to find a live stream of this year's event

Elsewhere in the US and worldwide, watch for TV news coverage of the opening, and thereafter for special reports of particularly gruesome gorings.

How to run with the bulls

spectators get ready at the running of the bulls in pamplona
Ready, set .... run!

As always, it is highly recommended that runners be fit, agile, and have their wits about them at all times. 

Those under the age of 18 need not apply. All participants must be at the entry gates by 7:30AM for each morning's 8AM start time. Get a good night's sleep the night before. More importantly, arrive sober! You'll be running with a herd of wild animals -- with horns.

Trampling is always preferable to goring (which accounts for most of the fatalities.) So if you're threatened with simply being run over, drop to the ground and remain in the fetal position until all danger is passed.

For the main event, a double fence marks the entire route of the bull run through the streets. This helps guide participants, spectators, and the bulls throughout the 900 yards it takes to get from the corral in Calle Santo Domingo to the bullring.

That said, also look where you're going! The majority of the 200-300 injuries annually are a result of trips and falls while running or crashing into the street barriers!

DID YOU KNOW? Running of the Bulls fun facts

• The running of the bulls is Pamplona's biggest annual tourist draw. More than 50% of participants who run with the bulls are tourists.

• Besides the running of the bulls, the San Fermin festival features a carnival atmosphere of souvenir vendors, street performers, evening fireworks, and first class people watching.

• The build-up to each run may be exciting, but it's an adrenalin rush that lasts all of 3-4 minutes from beginning to end.

• While the festival at Pamplona is the most famous, it is only one of many bull running events held throughout Spain and in other countries. That includes bull runs in Portugal, bull runs in Mexico, and even bull runs in Southern France.

More about the Running of the Bulls around the Web:

Safety at Running of the Bulls
- Stay sober, and more tips for surviving the run.

Pamplona Spain - Running with the Bulls
- Here's another insider account from the start of the run and including what happens inside the Arena.

Running of the Bulls - Check out the Wikipedia page for more on the run including a complete history, photos, and related resources.

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