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The San Fermin Festival is kicking into gear these days in Pamplona, Spain. The running of the bulls began this morning July 7 at precisely 8AM in and the run had duration of exactly 2:37 minutes, where the bulls maintained a stable rhythm and stuck together the majority of the time, leaving no incidents behind.
People dressed in white and red covered the streets of the old town. Some had waken up early to watch the Encierro, but others arrived straight from the night-long party to the streets without a since hour of sleep. Many people where waiting impatiently behind the wooden barriers that are put in place every year by the city council in order to create a path for the bulls to run while keeping the spectators who will be watching protected.
In the meantime, the runners were waiting with anticipation for the gates to open and the race to begin.
The encierro began when a second firework rocket was released into the sky, its explosion notifying the runners that the gate to the bulls had been opened.
The run path has a length of 848,6 meters. Starting from the Santo Domingo Street, following the City Hall Plaza, the Mercaderes Street, then passing the known and dangerous curve of the Estafeta Street, and finally the Plaza.
The firework rockets are the official signaling that announces the location of the bulls. The first one is fired when the clock hits 8AM precisely – the second one when the bulls gate is opened and the third indicates that all the bulls have entered the Plaza. The fourth and last rocket notifies that all of the bulls are inside the corrals of the Plaza.
The first running of the bulls was pretty calm. There were the usual people that slipped and where pushed but there were no major incidents. The six bulls stayed together throughout the path and in the famous curve of the Estafeta Street, where the bulls always crush to the walls because they are not able to turn that quickly – this year, they had no problem thanks to the application of anti-sliding material on the street floor.
Tomorrow, the second encierro starts at its usual time 8am. I will recommend you to watch it live, and experience all the adrenaline that the encierros always provide.