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About the event


Running of the Bulls in PamplonaThe Spanish tradition of encierro (Running of the Bulls) is a festival event in which bulls are let loose to charge through the streets while the townspeople show off their machismo by running ahead of them, prancing, taunting and ultimately getting painfully trampled and kebabbed.

The most famous Running of the Bulls takes place in Pamplona, as part of the festival of San Fermin.

We've taken this idea and given it a uniquely British twist.

Instead of bulls, we use hardcore runners in horned helmets.

We've swapped the streets of Pamplona for the pleasant greenery of London's Hampstead Heath and we've taken out the Iberian bravado and animal cruelty and tossed in a good old-fashioned pub crawl.

We'll take in some appropriately bullish boozers and the most scenic and historically rich part of London.
It's going to be an awesome day.

The rules

In between pubs, we'll be dipping in and out of Hampstead Heath to run with the bulls.

  1. All runners must wear a white top (and white trousers, preferably) and a red neckerchief, worn loosely. And obviously running shoes.
  2. Please write your name on your neckerchief
  3. When the first klaxon sounds, runners should race like hell to get a head start on the bulls
  4. When the second klaxon sounds, the bulls will be let loose to chase the runners down
  5. A runner 'tagged' by a bull must give him or her their neckerchief
  6. A bull 'tags' a runner by touching them and shouting "encierro!"
  7. Please don't try to grab anyone's neckerchief from them
  8. Bulls cannot tag runners once they have reached the safe zone
  9. Bulls are 'deactivated' once they reach the safe zone –they can't nip back in to tag latecomers. Goal-hanging is discouraged.
  10. At the next pub, bulls' neckerchiefs will be collected and counted, and scores written up
  11. Neckerchiefs will be redistributed before the following bull run
  12. Please drink responsibly, and make sure you keep yourself hydrated with water


When is it?

The inaugural Running of the Bulls UK takes place on 11 August 2012.
See our map of the route and full itinerary

Where is it?

The Running of the Bulls UK takes place on Hampstead Heath in North London.
See our map of the route and full itinerary

How much does it cost?

The Running of the Bulls UK is free to enter but you will have to pay for your own food and drink. Please let us know you're coming by signing up to our Facebook event.

What should I wear?

All runners must wear a white top and red neckerchief. Innovative costumes are encouraged, but please stick to the basics and please don't dress as a bull unless you've applied and been accepted as one. Apply to be a bull.

How can I get involved?

This year, we're only taking registrations through Facebook. We'd appreciate it if you'd indicate your intention by signing up this way. If you're not on Facebook, please get in touch to let us know that you're coming.

We also need volunteers to help us run the event. Find out more about volunteering.


The Running of the Bulls is an all-day event and covers much of the Heath.

For more details, see our map and full itinerary.

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