Encountering a fighting bull during the encierro

  • Never run behind a bull. Once he passes, drop back, if not, you could be the first thing he sees should he turn around, or fall and be disoriented.
  • Never touch a bull. It can prove a dangerous distraction. If you draw attention to yourself it could be very dangerous.
  • Pay attention to the Pastores (the guys with the green shirts) who are there for your protection and in charge of the encierro.
  • A bulls horns are his most important assets. It’s how he measures his prey. Never get between the horns of a bull unless you know what you are doing.

If You Fall
Bulls are not the only danger you’ll face on the narrow streets of the old quarter at 8:00 in the morning. With the number of inexperienced runners being out on the route, the chance of you stumbling and falling is extremely likely, especially the morning of the 7th, when the crowd tends to be the largest. In fact, most of those injured during a typical run have fallen and been trampled by fellow runners, not bulls.

When running, you have to remember to look to the front and behind, watch out for those who have already fallen. Thinks happen quickly and once you are in with the herd, it’s safest to remain close to the bulls as there will be fewer runners in front of you to block the way.

But if you fall, stay down! Do not move until someone taps you on the shoulder to let you know it’s clear. If you fall near a bull, do not try to get back up. Lie flat and cover your head. If the bulls are moving, they should ignore you and continue running. Getting up will cause the nearest bull to attack. This is the most common mistake make by inexperienced runners.

Note that once a bull keys on you he will continue to go after you until distracted by another runner or one of the Pastores, the shepherds.