“The bulls are big and mean and dangerous. They don’t take any prisoners. Luckily the surgeons in Pamplona are experts in treating gorings. After all, they get a lot of practice. You should try to watch the bull run first from the balcony, the day before. It is only then thay you’ll realize the fear, the danger that makes running with the bulls one of the best hangover cures.
It is also a hell of a lot of fun. “
These are excerpts from a video aptly titled Running With The Bulls Is Slightly More Dangerous Than Fishing created by the Pamplona Posse. It’s more than enough to discourage anyone from running with these 1,300 pound creatures! But if you’re living on the wild side, it’s also more than enough to convince you to book that flight to Pamplona- pronto!
While doing my research on the bull run (you didn’t think I was going into this blindly, did you?), I found some forums that asked:
Q: Do women run with the bulls?
A: Women do run with the bulls, however, the majority of participants are men. Locals may look surprised if you are a woman running because it is considered a macho act for men to run, but not for women. With that being said, men or women participants must be prepared to take care of themselves on the course. The fear of a bull chasing someone takes away any sort of chivalry a woman may expect from a man.
There has even been an account of an American girl named Jennifer Smith who was running up Estafeta with her boyfriend when he tried to climb the railings to escape the onrushing bulls. By doing that and with her climbing close behind him, he managed to kick her into the path of an oncoming bull!
Why will you do this?
But first, I would like to be clear on 3 things:
I’m not running for personal glory. Nor am I out to prove anything to myself or to the world. I guess I’m past that age when you do things simply because you wanted attention.
I’m not running to show men how it’s done or that whatever men can do, women can do better. For me, it’s not a feminist act. It’s simply is an act. An act of doing for the sake of doing.
And lastly I’m not running just because 4 other fearless, beautiful women are running with me. No one bullied me into this challenge and especially not the fierce instigator Jeannie Mark of Nomadic Chick.
I wrote the full story of how I got into this challenge on Sole Sisters. But I wanted to write in detail here about why.
I am going to run with bulls simply because I want to experience it firsthand. And isn’t that what travel is all about? To see with your own eyes, to feel the rush, to experience everything yourself?
True, the idea is pretty unusual and not every woman may want to try it or feels they can. Even award winning writer and photographer Lola Akinmade-Åkerström preferred the balcony view rather than the streets and dubbed herself a “logical lunatic”. There’s definitely the potential of danger. But I’m grateful that I won’t take that risk by myself. I’m running with 4 other women who believe that travelling is nothing but a world of risk.
In my 30 years of existence, I have seen too many people make decisions based on fear. People who would rather live vicariously and enjoy the journey from the safety of their living room couch. I have seen people who are too afraid to live because they think they have a lot to lose. And all they lose is life itself. I have vowed to myself early on that I will not be motivated by fear.
Call me crazy. Call me bullheaded. But I will run.