Running with the bulls in Spain: How we’re preparing!

The announcements have been made, the countdown is on, and the anticipation is mounting. Unless you’ve been under a rock lately, you know that our plucky group of female travellers will be taking Pamplona by storm this July. 

In all the planning and arrangements, amidst the controversy about the ethics of bull running, and amongst the promoting of our endeavour, the excitement is real: we will be running with the bulls! But you know what? The trepidation is real, too.  Because, well… we will be running with the bulls. I mean, have you seen a bull up close lately?!

GULP. While adventure is our middle name, safety is our top priority.  Because while we may be a teensy bit crazy, we ain’t (that) stupid.  With people getting injured during San Fermin every year, we don’t take the potential risks lightly.  Being informed is our best defense.  As such, we are busily arming ourselves with resources so that we can run happily, responsibly, and most importantly, intelligently.

Here’s what we’re reading and viewing in preparation for our run with the toros:

1. Pamplona: Running the Bulls, Bars and Barrios in Fiesta de San Fermin, by Ray Mouton-  Recommended by a fan on our Facebook page, this novel gives an extensive history and overview of all things Pamplona and San Fermin.  A great read for the 3+ hour train ride to the city from Madrid!

2. SanFermin.com  and the City of Pamplona.com – What better resource for the event than the official websites of Pamplona and the San Fermin fiestas? Both websites give practical information on everything from maps and accomodation to where to eat and where to party.  Most appreciated, however? The section on San Fermin’s website on how to behave at the bull run.  Because crossing the line and getting drunk, disorderly, and disrespectful of the host culture just ain’t cute.

3. These tips for running with the bulls from About.com have a particular focus on safety, which gets the thumbs up from us. One of the best pieces of advice the article proffers: don’t run on the first day.  Getting the lay of the land is necessary- running without checking out how everything works first would just be silly.

4. Looking for a more personalized account of the experience? Acclaimed travel blogger Michael Hodson recounts how he ran with the bulls with such vivid detail that we feel we are right there with him!

5. Finally, for more visual learners, a video: we are treated to the sights and sounds of Pamplona through the lens of traveller extraordinaire Rick Steves. If this doesn’t make you want to jump on a plane to Spain, nothing will!

 We don’t know about you, but we are amped about our bull run! Do you have any tips or resources on how we can prepare to run with the bulls? Are we crazy for doing it?

For more updates on our bull running adventure, please check out our new website “Girls Running With Bulls” and like our Facebook page!

Psst! Don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook if you haven’t already! Your support is much appreciated!
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  • Reply
    May 9, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Every since I have read a book by James Mitchner, “The Drifters” I have wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona, but the reality is I am too chicken. Best of luck, and thanks for the additional info. maybe one day…

    • Reply
      May 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks so much for the support! I think I may be a little chicken, too, but I’m going to do it anyway.. 🙂

  • Reply
    This Battered Suitcase
    May 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I don’t have any tips or resources to share, but I just wanted to say that I am SO EXCITED to follow this adventure with you ladies! I would love to do it at some point in my life, so I can’t wait to read all about your experience.

    • Reply
      May 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      If you were running around S. America I’d tell you to join! Thanks for your support!! You rock!

  • Reply
    May 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I read “The Paris Wife” this year which told the story of Hemingway and his first wife who spent some time in Pamplona and eventually wrote “The Sun Also Rises” as a reflection of his experiences there. I have yet to read it but might be nice as a little aside for you before you go.

    Joe & I went to a bull fight a couple of weeks to go in Seville and oh my goodness, it was quite the experience. I had been to several rodeos (small town Saskatchewan girl) but this was on a whole other level. Something we’re glad we did but will probably never do again. (I’ll be blogging about it later!)

    • Reply
      May 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      What a coincidence- I JUST downloaded “The Paris Wife” onto my Kindle! Particularly excited to read it now! We’re also thinking about going to a bull fight; I think it will be interesting! Looking forward to your post!

  • Reply
    Nomadic Chick
    May 14, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Oneika, new website looks awesome!!!! Love it. 🙂

    • Reply
      May 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks, lady! It’s been a bit of a struggle, but I’m liking the way it looks! Also looking forward to going back to my regular posting schedule as opposed to spending that time fiddling around with the blog.. ;-0

  • Reply
    Tamika D.
    May 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    How exciting!! Praying that you ladies have a fab time. Those bulls don’t stand a chance. Life is all about adventures… danger is around us ALL each and every day. Run on ladies! Can’t wait to hear more. 🙂 P.S. tweet a pic of your shoes!

  • Reply
    Michael Hodson
    May 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Well thanks so much for the mention. You women will have a great time. Its a truly interesting event. Are you going to go to the bullfights at all also?

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