As you read this we are on our way to Pamplona, Spain for the Running of the Bulls. Also known as the San Fermín Festival, the Running of the Bulls attracts millions of visitors to watch Spain’s largest festival. For some unknown reason, we thought it would be a fun idea to join the thousands of other people who decided to test their courage by running through the city’s narrow streets as a pack of bulls charges towards them.

Running of the Bulls  - The Reaction

When I asked my mom and dad if they were worried about us taking part in the running of the bulls, they laughed and said, “No, just stay out of their way.” My dad used to rodeo and was a bull and bronc rider and he went on regular cattle drives across the Alberta Plains of Bar U Ranch. My mom was an avid rider that was with him every step of the way. They’ve been around their fair share of bulls.

When I told my paddle boarding instructor in Maui that Dave and I were running with the bulls, she said, “Only 6 Bulls run through the streets right?” I thought she would be impressed by our fearlessness! However, when she was in Guyana she participated in her own stampede and was chased by hundreds of cows and bulls and she lived to tell about the day.

So, if they’re not worried about San Fermin, we’re not worried.

At least as I write this from the safety and comfort of my parents home in sunny Canada

Expedia Find Yours

A couple of weeks ago, Expedia announced their new Campaign – Find Yours. It is based on the idea that travel is deeply personal and life changing. Our video was featured from when we found our Harmony in Thailand.

Expedia Find yours Viva

Dave attempts to find his Viva at the Airport

Running of the Bulls – Finding Viva

What does viva mean? Alive! 

Facing a stampede of bulls head on will certainly make a person feel alive. (especially if we live to tell about it) We can sleepwalk our way through life, or we can look for things that ignite a spark and wake us up from the fog. Not everyone has to cycle a continent, climb a mountain or run with the bulls to feel alive, but we suggest you find something that makes you feel alive and do it today!

Follow the madness and mayhem on twitter at the hashtag #ExpediaFindYours and our Instagram Feed and Facebook Page for zany photos and daily updates.

Check out the Expedia Facebook page to see more Find Yours Videos and vote for your favourite in the nffty Film Contest.

We’ll be both watching and running in the event. We’ve got it covered from all angles. From high above Dead Man’s corner from a second floor balcony, to being right in the thick of things while trying to outrun the bulls ourselves.

We’ve practiced our tuck and rolls and looking over our shoulders. A trip to the chiropractor has assured us that we’ll be able to look over our shoulders with ease and we’ve packed our best tennis shoes for the occasion. We are ready for the running of the bulls are you?

Before we run, we have to make sure that all the rules are followed, so we thought we’d share the official rules of the running of the bulls with our before we land in Spain!

running of the bulls crowd

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Running of the bulls official rules:

What is not allowed in the bull run

  • Crossing police barriers placed to ensure that the run goes off smoothly.
  • Standing in areas and places along the route that have been expressly prohibited by the municipal police force.
  • Before the bulls are released, waiting in corners, blind spots, doorways or in entrances to other establishments located along the run.
  • Leaving doors of shops or entrances to apartments open along the route. The responsibility for ensuring these doors are closed lies with the owners or tenants of the properties.
  • Being in the bull run while drunk, under the effects of drugs or in any other improper manner.
  • Carrying objects that are unsuitable for the run to take place correctly.
  • Wearing inappropriate clothes or footwear for the run.
  • Inciting the bulls or attracting their attention in any manner, and for whatever reason, along the route of the run or in the bullring.
  • Running backwards towards the bulls or running behind them.
  • Holding, harassing or maltreating the bulls and stopping them from moving or being led to the pens in the bullring.
  • Stopping along the run and staying on the fence, barriers or in doorways in such a way that the run or the safety of other runners is jeopardised.
  • Taking photographs inside the run, or from the fences or barriers without due authorisation.
  • Carrying objects that are unsuitable for the good order and security of the bull run.
  • Installing elements that invade horizontal, vertical or aerial space along the bull run, unless expressly authorised by the Mayor”s Office.
  • Any other action that could hamper the bull run taking place normally.

It’s going to be a crazy ride. But I definitely think we’ll find our Viva!

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Leave a comment


  1. Erica

    Well, mom and dad in rodeos all of a sudden made a lot of sense. <3

    I'm seriously green with envy. You guys are going to have the most amazing time! Can't wait to hear all about it.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Erica. It’s true, my mom and dad know their way around Ranch animals. Now the people are another story! There are so many of them in Pamplona at once it is overwhelming. It’s not the bulls that are terrifying, it’s the people trampling us that I worry about.

  2. Ali

    I was in Spain in 2000 for a study abroad program and we went to Pamplona for a weekend during San Fermin. It was CRAZY!! I didn’t run, but I watched 2 mornings. I know your parents somehow aren’t worried, but please be careful!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Ali, we’ll definitely be careful. My parents know that Dave and I have good heads. We won’t be running while drinking like so many festival goers do, and we’ll be sure to stay out of the bulls way. Mom and dad know that if you keep a level head, you’ll be fine. We’re giving ourselves 3 days beforehand to walk the course, plan escape routes, watch it from a balcony and from the ground before we even run, so we’re not too worried either. If we feel threatened or in any danger. we’re just going to run to the barrier and climb up it. I appreciate your concern though, we really do. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

  3. Jeremy Branham

    That is going to be one awesome adventure! Hope you have an awesome time and come back in one piece. So awesome that your parents were such adventurers themselves with their cowboy days. Now I know where you get it! :)

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Jeremy. Yes, I let my dad down when I didn’t win the bullriding contest in Colorado:) We’re watching the Calgary Stampede here now and he’s reliving the fun. He knows all the lingo and yes, style is very important. You rocked the bull man!

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