Running of the Bulls 2014: Date, Schedule and Pamplona Event Primer

Participants run alongside charging bulls during the Great Bull Run at the Georgia International Horse Park, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Conyers, Ga. The event, expected to attract 3,000 runners Saturday, is inspired by the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain and has future stops planned in Texas, Florida, California, Illinois and Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman/Associated Press
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJuly 4, 2014

Beginning on July 6 and running through July 14, the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona will take place. There are other bull runs in Spain, but none as popular as this one.

Spain in USA offered this overhead look at what the streets of Pamplona look like during the event:

Americans have all likely seen highlights of this event in previous years, but in 2014, subscribers to the Esquire channel will actually get to watch televised coverage.

Per Variety's Debra Birnbaum, Esquire will feature eight-straight nights of coverage from 2-2:30 a.m. ET from July 7 to 14. Artistic director Larry Richman is thrilled the event will be covered.

The coverage will be hosted by Guad Venegas of Telemundo's Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste.

 

Things to Know

There's a very detailed breakdown of the entire ceremony and the significance of every part at BullrunPamplona.com. Here's a few of the most important tidbits:

 

The Running of the Bulls is Known as The "Encierro"

PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 14:  Bullfighters perform with a Miura's fighting bulls at the bullring on the ninth day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 14, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 n
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Originally, the running of the bulls was done out of necessity. Natives had to get the bulls out of the city and into the bullring. However, because of the spectacle it created, its popularity has grown over the years.

Once the clock on the church of San Cernin strikes 8 a.m., the run begins.

The Bulls are set off behind the runners for 825 meters, which is the distance between the corral and the building. The run usually lasts for just three to four minutes, but the popularity of the Kentucky Derby and other high-stakes horse races proves events don't have to be long to grab the attention of spectators.

 

A Spiritual Connection

Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

Just before the run, chants to the patron saint San Fermin are uttered by the runners. They ask to be protected and blessed, just prior to the release of the bulls.

The English translation is as follows: "We ask San Fermin, being our patron saint, to guide us in the bull run and give us his blessing."

"Viva San Fermin" is chanted three times then the action begins.

 

Not Everyone is a Fan

Some find the event inhumane and barbaric. You can find tweets from activists urging people and companies to boycott the event.

It's true. Real-life injuries can and have occurred to man and beast during the event. That said, it doesn't look as if the event is going anywhere anytime soon.

PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 13:  A steer runs over a reveller during the Fuente Ymbro's fighting bulls running entering the bullring on the eighth day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 13, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

With a network, though small, picking up the coverage, it seems as if the event is poised to boom in popularity.

 

Security Measures and Regulations

PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 13:  A Fuente Ymbro's fighting bull falls entering the bullring during the eighth day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 13, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 nove
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

There's a long list of dos and don'ts, but here's a few interesting ones:

  • Participants must be at 18 years of age.
  • Participants can't be drunk or under the influence of drugs while on the course.
  • No one will be allowed to wear inappropriate footwear during the run.
  • There can be running backwards towards the bulls or running behind them.

If you planned on attending or even participating, and had thoughts of doing any of the things listed above, please don't. Although I thought being a little tipsy might be a prerequisite for a runner—nonetheless, it's on the banned list.

Hopefully everyone has a great time, and comes out in one piece.

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