© Rodrigo Sebastián Cabrera. 14/7/2015. Miura.

Could we see a Running of the Bulls made in under two minutes in 2016?

Photo: ©Rodrigo Sebastián Cabrera

Nobody would have thought that within a few years we could be asking a question like this: Might there be a Sanfermin 2016 Running of the Bulls of under two minutes duration? This premise is a logical one because on the 14th of July, 2015, the Miura bulls clocked a record-breaking run of just two minutes five seconds. This is a first-ever record for the Running of the Bulls because the whole pack of six bulls completed the whole distance of 875 meters that constitute the length of the course, running at an average speed of 25, 2 Km per hour. You can watch the best photos of these day HERE. And the answer that we feel we can give from Sanfermin.com is an affirmative yes that it is possible for a Sanfermin bullrunning to be completed in less than two minutes. And indeed, we may not need to wait much longer than 2016.

In order to contextualize this affirmation we must admit that we already know that there have been some bulls that have been as fast as that. And not only those bulls of the past few years. According to a study made by Raúl Imedio, from the La Jarana Peña Club, the fastest bull over the period between 1985 and 1997 was “Huraño”, a Jandilla bull of some 598 kilos that managed to cover the distance between the pens in Santo Domingo up to the arena of the bullring in 1 minute 43 seconds on the 11th of July, 1997. In 2003, “Comadroso”, a bull from the Dolores Aguirre bull-ranch reached the bullring in under two minutes.

© Xabi Lizarraga. Comadroso volando en la plaza del Ayuntamiento. 12 de julio. Dolores Aguirre.
© Xabi Lizarraga. Comadroso volando en la plaza del Ayuntamiento. 12 de julio. Dolores Aguirre.

Recently, in a speed very similar to that of the Miura bulls, one of the Victoriano del Río bulls reached an average speed of 25 kilometers per hour when running the 312 meters of the stretch of Estafeta in just 45 seconds on the 12th of July, 2012.

©Mikel Lasa. 12 de julio de 2012. Victoriano del Río.
©Mikel Lasa. 12 de julio de 2012. Victoriano del Río.

Considering these speeds, it should be remembered that the whole stretch of the course is far from being flat and that there is an important uphill slope over most of the course. It is clear that the strength of these bulls is immense. The 280 meters of the first stretch at Santo Domingo has an ascending slope of some 6% and in Estafeta Street, in its two sections, there is a slope of 3,60% up to the bajada de Javier (138 metros)- and then a further 1,40% -up to the Kukuxumusu store at the top of the street (168 metros).

What was different about 2015 was the fact that we had never seen a complete pack of bulls complete the course in such a fast time. The pack of Miura bulls actually covered the whole course in 2 min. 02sec.from the moment that the first bull came out of the pens in Santo Domingo, until the last bull entered the pens inside the bullring. However, for the global time of the run, we are also counting the group of bell oxen that ran with the bulls which means the definitive time was registered at 2min. 05sec.

For the above-mentioned reasons, and bearing in mind the physical condition of the bull-oxen, if the bulls repeat the feat of the Miura of the 14th of 2015, we could well be at the point of seeing a new record of under two minutes set up.

There were no special circumstances at play on the day of the Miura bulls that would make the day different from any other. It is true that it was a hot day. But the temperature would not appear to be a determining factor in this situation. The ground was very dry and the temperature was at 18ºC at that hour of the morning. It was the 42nd hottest Running of the Bulls which means there have been 41 Runnings of the bulls where the temperature was even hotter. The hottest on record was that of the 8th of July, 1982 which was run with a temperature of 25 degrees centigrade. The Los Albaserrada bull-ranch put the stop-watch at a figure of 3min.31sec. on that sweltering morning.

What was important on the day of the Miura bulls was the fact that the bulls did not hold back at any moment. There were no charges or gorings made by them (a total of 25 of the 35 Miura appearances in the Running of the Bulls have finished without any gorings). But some parts of the running was slower than others as for example, when the leading bull knocked down some runners at Telefónica and lost its leading position. Two other bulls lost their pace going through the entrance area of the bullring when they were blocked by runners on the right side of the passageway.
The two-minute record is there for the making and the taking.

These have been the fastest running of the bulls on record:


14/7/15 Miura 2´05″ Dry
13/7/11 El Pilar 2´11″ Dry
8/7/98 Conde de la Corte 2´12″ Dry
13/7/15 Garcigrande 2´12″ Dry
10/7/98 Cebada Gago 2´13″ Dry
14/7/98 Torrealta 2´13″ Dry
9/7/06 Miura 2´13″ Dry
13/7/10 El Pilar 2´14″ Dry
10/7/13 Victoriano del Río 2´14″ Dry
8/7/15 Del Tajo y La Reina 2´14″ Dry
10/7/97 Torrestrella 2´15″ Dry
14/7/05 Victorino Martín 2´15″ Dry
11/7/06 Osborne 2´15″ Dry
12/7/01 Marqués de Domecq 2´16″ Dry