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Fiesta of San Fermin
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Advice for runners in the bull run

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Access. In order to take part, you should enter the Plaza Consistorial before 7.30 am via the gates on the square itself and wait in the square or on the hill of Santo Domingo until the Municipal Police barriers open. Then go to your chosen spot to start the run. Access is closed after this time and leaving the route is forbidden.

Most dangerous sections. Lane-Bullring (where eight of the fourteen deaths have taken place) and the end of Santo Domingo (three lives lost).

Clothes. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear. Do not carry any objects (rucksacks, bags, etc.) with you.

Ask expert runners. The Bull Run is extremely dangerous and overcrowding makes it even more hazardous. Years of practice are needed before you know how to run.

Starting and finishing. It is just as important to know how to get out of the run as it is to know how to get in. There are two techniques: gradually take up position while the rest pull out or get in straight off.

Be careful not to trip up. It is very easy to trip up and fall. Most of the injuries are contusions resulting from falls. You have to run looking in front, behind and at the ground. Once you are in with the herd, the safest place is right next to the bulls as other runners will not get in your way. If you fall, the best thing to do is curl up and keep still.

Bulls and oxen. It is easy to distinguish between the two. The oxen are larger, bonier, older and shaven. They have bells around their necks.

Be careful with bulls when they are on their own. It is the first time they have come into contact with people and noise. Bulls on their own are even more dangerous, both those which run ahead of the herd, flashing their horns, and those which drop behind.

Cowherds and dobladores. The cowherds, who run behind the herd with their sticks, try to keep the herd together and reprimand those who annoy, touch or incite the animals. The dobladores wait for the bulls in the Bullring to lead them into the corral with their capes.

Basic prohibitions. It is forbidden to run behind the bulls or to run in the opposite direction to the Run itself. It is also forbidden to incite the bulls or to run under the influence of alcohol. Once in the Bullring, you must run to one side and clear the ring as soon as possible. Under-18s cannot take part. The space between the two barriers is reserved exclusively for runners in danger and authorised personnel.

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