This summer, the running of the bulls – an annual tradition made famous in Pamplona, Spain – is coming to the Bay Area. The event will take place at the Alameda County Fairgrounds on July 26.
The Great Bull Run is on a quarter-mile course (it's a half mile in Spain), and the day-long event will also feature music, food, beer and even a massive tomato fight, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
The Great Bull Run's website claims that the bulls in the run are not abused to make them participate nor are they killed at the end of the event, as they are in Spain. The site also claims that the bulls are trained to run in crowds, that they are constantly monitored by veterinarians, and that after the race, they're returned to an open-air ranch.
Also different from the event in Spain, the course is a straight shot on dirt or grass, not on city streets. There will be no sharp turns, and the bulls mostly run in a direct line right into a corral. The animals are released in three waves during one run, with participants waiting along the course for the bulls to come by. Should the bulls get too close for comfort, people can run into nooks along the track.
Of course, there’s still danger, but you get to choose the amount you want to participate in. For more money, those who love living on the edge can run right alongside the bulls. Those who aren’t as adventurous can run along the outer edges of the track. Should runners want to leave the course right away, they can always climb the track fence, but once runners leave the track, they can’t get back in.
After the run, ticket holders can celebrate their survival with a massively epic tomato fight (tickets just for Tomato Royale can also be bought separately).
And if all this sounds like too much excitement, you can opt for the spectator ticket, which allows you to watch all the craziness without being right in the thick of it.
[Image via Thinkstock]
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