The Feria del Toro has been an important part of Pamplona’s legendary festival for more than 100 years. The 8-day Festival Of The Bull, the encierro, the running of the bulls and the bullfights in the afternoopn, was a favorite of Papa Hemingway, whose classic 1926 novel, “The Sun Also Rises” (Fiesta), has attracted tens of thousands of visitors from around the world to the capital of Navarra since it was first released.
Advice From Veteran Runners
Access To The Route
If you want to participate in the encierro, the running of the bulls, you should enter the route before 07:00 through the gate in the Plaza Consistorial and stay within the barricades in that section of the route, between the Town Hall Square and the Old Military hospital on Calle Santo Domingo. Shortly after 07:00 the access will be closed and your will not be allowed to leave until the encierro begins and the bulls are on their way.
The Most Dangerous Stretches
There are no ‘safe’ places along the route, but the most dangerous stretches are at the top of Santo Domingo and from the Callejón to the Plaza de Toros.
Clothing – What To Wear
Wear comfortable clothing and sneakers or running shoes. Do not carry any other items with you, including backpacks, cameras, etc. The police will remove you from the route and there is the possibility of having to pay a fine of up to €3000, depending on the infraction.
Ask An Expert Runner For Advice
The running is neither a joke nor an opportunity for media coverage. The risks are enormous and the large number of runners, especially for the first encierro on the 7th, and over the weekend, makes it that much more dangerous. There are dozens of experienced runners, both local and foreign based, including the members of the Amigos de Pamplona, the Miami club, who will gladly offer advise if you only ask. Remember, it takes years of practice to become a good runner.
Getting In And Out Of The Flow
Getting into the flow is as important as getting out of the way. Get in gradually as other runners drop out. Or get straight into the run from a standing start as the bulls close in on your position. Do not stand on the side and block others trying to run with the bulls.
And remember, it’s always “Bulls Before Breakfast“, so be sure to get your copy of Peter’s book before you head to Pamplona!