Spain’s annual tradition, The Running of the Bulls was always on my bucket list until I became aware of the fact that the bulls are running to face off against a matador in a traditional bullfight, to an almost certain pre-determined fate. Surely the 1,500 pound bulls wouldn’t be running so fast if they knew where they were headed.
Call me ethnocentric, but upon learning this fact, I put culture and tradition aside and lost interest in “Running with the Bulls”. The animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), go so far as to protest of the event with their own The Running of the Nudes event, run each year in Pamplona, during the seven-day festival of Sanfermines in honour of Saint Fermin in Pamplona where people run with the bulls each day before the nightly bull fights.
The Running of the Nudes, attracts compassionate activists who descend on Pamplona from all over the world, to protest against animal cruelty by staging naked protests during the Sanfermines festivites. The PR stunt may have even contributed to the 2012 banning of Bullfighting in Catalonia, Spain though it still exists in Pamplona and many other parts of Spain and France.
A Fun & Humane Approach
But, there is great news for adventurous thrill seekers looking to take a more humane approach to Running with the Bulls. The Great Bull Run series brings the thrill of running with bulls to ten cities throughout the United States – and the bulls all make it out alive and unharmed. That said, don’t take it lightly, they still weigh 1,500 pounds and can run up to 35 mph.
The Great Bull Run is way more though than just running with bulls. Your entry to the event also gives you a pass to take part in one of the largest, sanctioned modern food fights. Lob tomatoes at friends, families and that guy that cut you off during the bull run in Tomato Royale, an insane food fight modeled after La Tomatina, The World’s Biggest Food Fight held annually during a festival in the Valencian town of Buñol on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
There’s even a food fight!
The Tomato Royale occurs at each of the Great Bull Run events. When the music starts, participants run as fast as possible to the crates of tomatoes stationed around the event’s arena and the free for all begins. Rules state that you aren’t allowed to throw tomatoes at anyone within 10 feet or directly at anyone’s head and you can always opt out by raising both hands in the air.
So if you’re having second thoughts about the traditional Running with the Bulls or can’t get to La Tomatina, why not give The Great Bull Run a whirl – or make that a hurl. No bulls will be harmed and your bound to have a great time.
Have you taken part in this? Tell us about it with a comment.