Each run is organized into “runs” of up to 600 adrenaline junkies and up to eighteen bulls, and takes place in large venues like horse racing tracks, not on city streets (see the FAQ entry on safety to learn why).  However, the phrase “running with the bulls” is a bit misleading.  This isn’t a “run” or “race” in any sense of the word.  Bulls run 35 miles per hour, which is much faster than you.  What actually happens (both in Pamplona and here), is that you pick a spot somewhere on the quarter-mile course and wait for the bulls to come to you.  Everyone doesn’t just start at the beginning like in a marathon.  When the bulls get close to where you are, that’s when you start running beside them and try to keep up with them for as long as you can before they leave you in the dust (which is usually about 3 seconds).  So don’t view this event as a race or long-distance run; it’s more like a series of short sprints.  

Because bulls run much faster than humans, you won’t be running alongside them for more than a few seconds (unless you’re an Olympic sprinter).  However, we’ve decided that a few seconds isn’t enough quality time with our bulls, so we release up to three waves of bulls in each “run” so you get multiple passes (unlike in Pamplona)!  The bulls will run down the middle of the course to the corral at the other end.  This means you need to stay out of the middle of the track so the bulls have enough room to run.  However, once the bulls and people get moving together, it gets pretty chaotic.  These bulls aren’t deer at a petting zoo; they WILL run you over if you’re in their way.  But bulls aren’t the only threat: fellow runners can also run into you, trip you or impede your progress, so avoid other runners as much as you can.  

Professional bull handlers will be stationed along the course to supervise the run and medical staff will be on site in case of injuries. However, you’re solely responsible for your own safety when you’re on the track.  Although The Great Bull Run involves serious risks, participants can attempt to control the amount of danger they face during the run:

  • Those who desire the most danger can run alongside the bulls as they pass.
  • Those who want some danger but aren’t crazy enough to try and dodge bulls can run along the outer edges of the track and let the bulls pass at a safe distance.  If a bull does find its way to the outside of the track, there will be nooks along the way that runners can duck into to seek shelter (see the diagram to the right).  However, these nooks don’t offer 100% protection as there is no physical barrier between the runner and the bulls.  Runners should remain aware of their surroundings at all times and climb over the track fence if necessary to avoid a bull.  Note that leaving the track is a one-way trip; you won’t be allowed back in.
  • Runners who want the least amount of risk should start their run in a nook and stay there as the bulls pass.

Following the run, the participants will celebrate their accomplishment in the festival and prepare for the Tomato Royale food fight later in the day.  Click here to read all the rules and requirements for this portion of the event.

  • Runners must be at least 18 years old on the day of the run to participate. A valid government ID is required.
  • Don’t hit, slap, harass or mistreat the bulls in any way.
  • Visibly intoxicated attendees will NOT be allowed to run.
  • Don’t intentionally impede the progress of the bulls or other runners.
  • Runners cannot wear clothing that will obstruct their vision or otherwise impede their ability to run (including costumes), but must wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that allow for freedom of movement.
  • The track is a one-way street. Don’t stop or go backwards.
  • Once you exit the track, you can’t re-enter for any reason.
  • If you fall down, stay down and cover your head until the bulls pass. Bulls tend to jump over you if you’re on the ground, but will hammer you if you try to get up.  This isn’t guaranteed to protect you, but it’s your best chance of avoiding a serious injury.
  • We recommend not carrying anything in your hands while running.  You’ll need your hands free to climb the fence or cover head if you fall. If your own safety isn’t a good enough reason, think of your phone/camera.  We scrape up countless crushed phones and cameras after each event.
  • Every track is different. It’s each runner’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with the layout prior to the run in order to complete the run as safely as possible.
  • No signs or protests are allowed except in designated areas, if any.
  • Failure to follow any of these rules or the instructions of the event staff will result in your immediate removal from the entire Great Bull Run venue.

Of course not!  Much like rock climbing, mountain biking, skydiving and other extreme sports, running with real bulls is an inherently dangerous activity (which is why it’s so thrilling).  By participating in the run, you accept the risk that you might be trampled, gored, rammed or tossed in the air by a bull, or bumped, jostled, tripped or trampled by your fellow runners.  Make no mistake: you could get seriously injured in this event.  That’s why there’s medical staff on site at all times.

Interesting fact: There have been only fifteen deaths in the Pamplona running of the bulls in the past 103 years!  Even so, we’ve added significantly more safety precautions for The Great Bull Run to further reduce that risk (but you could still die) and to help ensure the health and safety of our bulls.  

First, we run only on dirt or grass, not through city streets, in order to prevent the slips and falls that often injure bulls in Spain due to their inability to gain traction on pavement.  Similarly, our courses don’t utilize sharp turns that bulls can’t navigate, which in Spain often leads to pileups of bulls and humans.  Second, our courses aren’t walled in by buildings, which in Spain leave runners with no possible escape route.  Instead, we construct the track using cattle fencing that allows runners to easily climb over to get out of the way of a charging bull.  We also design nooks in the fencing that allow runners to sidestep incoming danger, if necessary.  Finally (and most importantly), we don’t file our bulls’ horns to razor-sharp points like they do in Spain!

No!  Unlike the running of the bulls in Spain, we don’t kill the bulls in a bullfight, nor do we abuse them IN ANY WAY.  We don’t hit them, shock them or deprive them of food, water, light or sleep.  In fact, we’ve taken numerous measures to ensure our bulls remain safe and healthy at all times.   First, we run only on dirt or grass, not through city streets, in order to prevent the slips and falls that often injure bulls in Spain due to their inability to gain traction on pavement.  Similarly, our courses don’t utilize sharp turns that bulls can’t navigate, which in Spain often leads to pileups of bulls and humans.  Second, our bulls have been trained to run the course without physical contact and to be accustomed to large crowds of humans, thereby eliminating any stress or fear on their part.  

Third, we have a veterinarian on site at all times to monitor the health and treatment of the bulls.  As soon as the bulls arrive on location, they’re examined to ensure they’re completely healthy.  They’re examined again before and after each individual run throughout the day.  Any bull that is deemed unfit to run will be removed from the event and attended to by a veterinarian specializing in large animals.  Finally, the bulls are transported in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations governing the distance and time that livestock can travel each day.  Following each event, the bulls return to the open-air ranch where they’re tended by veterinarians and professional bull handlers.

Our course is a quarter mile (Pamplona’s course is only a half mile), but this isn’t a “run” or “race” in any sense!  The phrase “running with the bulls” is a bit misleading.  You see, bulls run 35 miles per hour, which is much faster than you.  What actually happens (both in Pamplona and here), is that you arrange yourself somewhere along the course and wait for the bulls to come to you.  When you see them approaching, you start running and try to keep up with them for as long as you can before they leave you in the dust (usually about 3 seconds).  So don’t view this event as a race or long-distance run; it’s more like a series of short sprints.  However, we do release up to three waves of bulls in each “run”, so you get multiple passes of bulls (unlike in Pamplona)!

Click on Locations and then click the event you’d like to participate in.  Click REGISTER and select your ticket option: Volunteer, Spectator, Tomato Royale or The Great Bull Run.  See below for what each ticket gets you. If you’re signing up for The Great Bull Run, you’ll need to choose what time you want to participate, since there are several runs throughout the day. Complete the remainder of the online registration form and submit your payment.  You’ll then be all set for the adventure of a lifetime!

  • Participation in one running of the bulls (Must be 18 or older)
  • Participation in the Tomato Royale food fight
  • Access to the day-long festival featuring great music, tasty food, fun games and cold beer
  • Access to all spectator areas for both The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royale
  • One Great Bull Run t-shirt – Exclusively for runners!
  • One Great Bull Run bandana – Exclusively for runners!
  • One beer (if 21 or over)
  • Participation in the Tomato Royale food fight (Must be 14 or older)
  • Access to the day-long festival featuring great music, tasty food, fun games and cold beer
  • Access to all spectator areas for both The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royale
  • One Tomato Royale t-shirt
  • One beer (if 21 or over)

All venues have excellent spectator viewing areas consisting of stands, bleachers and standing room next to The Great Bull Run track and Tomato Royale arena! Come out and cheer on your friends and family as they participate in the craziest day of their lives, then celebrate with them in the massive day-long festival featuring great music, tasty food, fun games and cold beer!

Children 13 and under get in free!

Volunteer in the morning (8 am to 12:30 pm) and you’ll get to participate in The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royale for FREE!  Click here for the full details.

If there’s light rain and temperatures above 50 degrees, the event will go on as planned.  Severe weather, including heavy rain and cold temperatures, sleet, snow, high winds, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or other like occurrences, may cause the event to be moved to Sunday.  If the severe weather persists throughout Sunday, the event will be rescheduled for the next available weekend date at the venue.  What constitutes severe weather will be determined by The Great Bull Run at its sole discretion.

No.  Because there will be horses and bulls on site that could be spooked by the presence of dogs, we can’t allow them to enter the venue at all, including the festival area.

Yes! You can WEAR a GoPro camera (not carry) during The Great Bull Run, as long as it doesn’t restrict your ability to run or climb the fence, or pose a danger to your fellow runners.  You can wear or carry a GoPro during Tomato Royale.