Three tips for surviving the Great Bull Run


This whole "extreme running" thing used to be cute.

Before now, it was all color runs, bacon chases, and the occasional zombie. But this weekend, things are going to get REAL.

This Saturday, Elk River Extreme Motor Park will be transformed into the City of Pamplona in Spain (except with more Mountain Dew banners and shirtless bros drinking Miller Lite), as the Great Bull Run makes its first trip to Minnesota.

[jump] If you aren't familiar with this long-time tradition, the Great Bull Run is inspired by the famous San Fermin festival, which is held every July in Spain, and draws more than a million participants. The highlight of the festival is the annual running of the bulls, where brave men and women sprint down the street while being pursued by... bulls.

The Great Bull Run will give you the chance to participate in the event yourself, without making the trip to Europe. Despite some pushback from animal rights activists last month, the event will go off as planned, and will feature 18 live bulls chasing runners down a quarter-mile course. It will also include a massive tomato fight later in the day, along with music, games, food, and beer.

While organizers insist that the bulls are trained to run the course with no physical contact, we still think it's better to be safe than sorry. That's why in preparation of the big event, we're giving you three survival tips for completing the Great Bull Run unscathed.

1) Bulls hate selfies

We get it: You desperately want your friends to see how badass you are running away from bulls, and how totes cute you look in your white T-shirt and red bandana. However, please remember that these are REAL F'ING BULLS and despite the fact that it's a controlled event, they can seriously kick your ass. You know those insane specials that are always playing on Spike TV, where some dude gets bitten by an alligator or stabbed by a stingray because he was messing around with dangerous animals? What's the one thing they all have in common? Cameras. They wanted to make sure their big moment was captured on film (or Instagram), and instead they ended up losing a limb. That's why our advice to you is put your phone away and save your selfie for when you know you're in a safe area.

BONUS TIP: If you choose to ignore our advice, at least be sure to take a real picture of yourself and not a Snap Chat. That's just stupid and wasteful.

2) Dress the part

For your entry fee of $75, you'll receive a free T-shirt and bandana to commemorate your big day. That's cool, but if you really want to stand out from the pack this weekend, try adding some spice to your wardrobe and dress as a straight-up matador. Matadors (real-deal bullfighters) are known for their fancy costumes, sweet hats, and bright-red capes used to help them tame their horned opponents. If you show up fully decked out, you'll let all of the other suckers at the racetrack know who's in charge.

3) Watch as many cartoons as possible

If all else fails, everything you need to know about handling bulls you can learn from old cartoons. Behold:

See? It's that easy. Dance, slap, disappear. There are plenty of other excellent YouTube videos that show off just how fun and non-terrifying bulls can be. Oh look! Here's another:

Oh my God. Good luck, you guys.


The Great Bull Run

Elk River Extreme Motor Park

Saturday, June 21, 11 a.m.

18+ for runners; all ages for spectators

$75 for runners; $10 for spectators

More details here