How to Run With the Bulls: Callejon

Beware of pile-ups

Jun 25, 2012
Outside Magazine
Callejon pile-up

A pile-up forms at the entrance to the tunnel leading into the bullring.    Photo: Jim Hollander

Leaping bull in Pamplona

A steer leaps over fallen runners as they enter the bullring at the end of the bull run course through the old city streets of Pamplona.

Callejon is known for the deadly montons (pile-ups) that occur here. One runner falls, the next falls on top of them until there is a stack of bodies five high and the width of the tunnel. The herd arrives at full speed. They buck, gore and stomp their way through the pile-up. The injured fill the local hospital beds to capacity.

Beginners: You don’t belong here. This section is even more hazardous than La Curva. If you are approaching the tunnel with the herd still in the street, dive under the barricades.

Intermediates: If you’re in good position ride through the tunnel with the pack and get out to either side. If you fall in the tunnel don’t forget about the small openings at the floor. Crawl in as quickly as you can to avoid causing a pile-up.

Experts: Roll through the Callejon—into the tunnel and through to the bright, explosive pandemonium of the packed 20,000-seat arena. Sprint straight into the center of the white-sand bullring and hand the animals off to the Dobledores with their pink luring capes. They’ll get them into the corral at the back to the arena.

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