Thousands of tourists flock to Pamplona, Spain to join in the Running of the Bulls. Unfortunately, many runners are uninformed and unprepared for their first – and likely only – dance with death. If you intend to join the legions of frenzied bull runners at the San Fermin Festival, you need to plan your route accordingly. There are certain segments of the 875-meter course, like La Curva, that are best left to the experts. If this will be your inaugural run, don’t even consider running The Curve, one of the most dangerous sections that is always riddled with accidents and serious injuries.
Tips for running La Curva
La Curva is located at the corner of Calle Mercaderes and Calle Estafeta. It is widely considered one of the best spots to watch the morning bull runs for good reason. The Curve features a treacherous 90 degree turn that has wildly chaotic results as the bulls fly into this sharp curve at top speeds.
Due to the high numbers of gorings, tramplings and bloody mishaps at La Curva, the Pamplonese have dubbed it ‘Hamburger Wall’ and ‘Dead Man’s Corner.’ If you are a first-timer and still choose to run La Curva, you are taking enormous and unnecessary risks.
Dead Man’s Corner is not for beginners
For those who have a few Pamplona bull runs under their belt, there is a trusted strategy developed by American Joe Distler that can improve your odds of coming out of Hamburger Wall intact and unharmed. In fact, locals have been using it for decades. This old technique has you standing in a doorway on the left side as you enter The Curve. Once the herd hits the wall, start running at a fast clip. Sprint them up the cobbled street as far as you safely can, while keeping your eyes peeled for a lone straggler.
For an extra dose of adrenaline and danger, the more experienced runners will position themselves in a doorway on the left, about half way up Calle Mercaderes. Veteran mozos will sprint up the backs of the bulls just after the herd rampages past. When the beasts – usually still in tight formation– hit the wall, swing out around them, just inches ahead of the horns. Run with them a good 30-50 yards, as you hear a virtual tsunami of cheers.
Get expert bull running tips
The unrivaled revelry of San Fermin pauses every morning for the bull runs. View the Pamplona Bull Run map for more details. For expert advice, runner’s tips, and much more, be sure to check out our premier Bull Runner’s Club. If you are more interested in watching instead of joining the run be sure to look into our Pamplona balcony rentals.