What is it about the Running of the Bulls that fascinates Australians so much?
They account for the biggest proportion of foreign runners, considering the size of the country the come from:
- 18% of runners are from the USA (population 319 million)
- 9% from Australia (population only 24 Million – a thirteenth of the US)
- 5% English
- 2% French
The famous San Fermin festival brings together Aussie daredevils and spectators for a week (it’s not just 1 run, it’s a week of them) of bull-dodging, drinking and late-night partying. Many an Aussie backpacker has endured (and enjoyed) an all-night drinking session with luggage in tow the night before “La Corrida”. This is mainly for fun, but also out of necessity, since they weren’t able to find accommodation in Pamplona’s busiest week of the year.
Gossip abounds in Spanish circles about the flocks of Aussies who arrive in Pamplona every year, and then process to drink the place dry, bar by bar. Yep – the week of San Fermin is viewed as a huge party week, BUT, there are also some justifiable reasons to be unsettled by the events of the week. A smattering of San Fermin headlines from the past few years include:
Gored Aussie was on a ‘gap year’
Australian man gored in Pamplona bull-run
Pamplona bull run: Australian woman “gravely ill” after being gored
Una australiana, corneada en el callejón
Pamplona: Two Australians among three people gored in final day
Si Senor, the Running with the Bulls could be fatal. At least 16 have died when taking part in the bull-running event down the years – the last fatality occurred in 2009.
Whether or not you agree with the ultimate fate of the bulls, this red and white fiesta full of music, ambiance, drinking and food is a major draw-card for Spain and a profitable tourist event.