RUNNING OF THE BULLS
Maybe because it is shown in the most important channels
of TV of different countries it has become one of the most
attractive event for the thousand and thousand of people
who come to enjoy the festivals. Having watched it on the
TV, some of them can have the idea that to run in front
of the bulls is quite easy, but, of course, it is not; ask
the runners who have been running for years. You have to
be very careful and keep an eye all the time, if you don’t
want to be badly injured; to run in front of bulls of 500
and 600 kgs of weight it’s not a joke. Be sure that
you will never feel the same sensation, but think twice
before you run.
If it’s your first time, be aware of some details.
First of all, be sure that you really want to take part
in the running of the bulls, don’t do it just for
fun or to appear in the TV. You will be thinking all the
time about how will you appear on the News, or if your friends
can see you, more than in the run.
If you have been drinking all the night and you are totally
drunk, quite normal, don’t run; it will be dangerous
not only for you, but also for the rest of the people. You
will think that you have all under control, but you won’t;
it is not that easy. If you have any problem you won’t
be able to react in the best way, because your reflexes
won’t be the same. So take it easy.
Usually the runners choose the same section to run and after
been running for a while, they try to get out of the route
without disturbing other runners or the bulls (which is
quite difficult). You have to watch out for the run, it
lasts only about 2 minutes.
Most of the people who are injured during the running of
the bulls, are because of falls while they are running or
the blows they received trying to be as near as possible
from the horns of the bulls. To nudge or beat the other
runners is quite normal during the run. Some people say
that most of the times it is because of the "divinos"
(the people who prepare the run during the year), but other
people say it is for the big quantity of people and the
inexperience of most of them. It is true that there is a
lot of people running, so is easy to understand that there
will be fights, specially in some parts of the route; in
Mercaderes and Estafeta, for example.
Sometimes, unfortunately, people die, nearly always because
they don’t know what to do, they don’t know
which are the rules of the run (that is what happened to
the young American Mathew
Peter Tassio, who died the 13th of July in 1995 ).
It is very important to know these rules to avoid these
tragic accidents, as well as the route where the bulls run.
If you have time, it would be a good idea to have a look
in the section about the running
of the bulls of this guide. You will find there the
route of the run and
the most dangerous parts of it. Be aware, you can be in
danger anywhere, even if there are parts of the route more
dangerous than others; Santo Domingo slope, Plaza del Ayuntamiento
(there is no place to take refuge), Telefonica street and
the Callejón (the narrow corral leading down to the
entrance to the bullring), where there is a risk with the
pile-up (not very frequently,
the last one was in 1977- one person died and 35 were injured-)
Anyway, if you have decided that you will take part in the
run, you could have a look in our "how to do the run"
section, where you will find the basic rules of the running
of the bulls. If you don’t have time to read them,
keep in mind, at least, this one: if you fall down don’t
get up, don’t move and cover your head with your arms.
It will be better for you to run during the week, at the
weekend there is a big quantity of people and it’s
more difficult to find a good place to run, and it is more
dangerous as well.