“I didn’t tell my mom I was running for the first time”

Francisco Glaria: Founder,
Pamplona Fiesta.

I was born in Pamplona in 1971.

I don´t recall falling in love with San Fermin. It wasn’t one of those “aha” moments. I simply lived it and loved it. Always. And I couldn’t wait for every 6th of July to arrive.

One of my earliest memories is seeing myself as a 4-year-old on the cover of Diario de Navarra, our local newspaper, throwing a tantrum while watching the traditional Giants and Big Heads Parade with my mom. That’s when I first truly felt like my family and I were part of Pamplona’s history.

My grandparents lived in Mercaderes St., right in front of the famous Dead Man´s Curve. As kids, every morning during San Fermin, my cousins, brothers and I would meet at grandma’s to watch my dad and uncles run from the balcony.

It was triple the excitement!

We got to see our relatives run in front of the bulls, grandma had a delicious breakfast of hot chocolate and bread in store for us and the runners brought us churros after the race – it was kind of a “don’t-be-too-mad-at-us-for-having-run-again” gift.

The stories the runners shared during breakfast had us all at the edge of our seats. They always had something fascinating to say.

But only when I started running at the age of 17, I truly really understood all the hype. Because I knew then that the adrenaline released during the run was still pumping through the runners’ blood as they enjoyed their hot chocolate and churros with us.

Can you see the smile on their faces? Now it’s your turn! Come and share the fun and thrills in Pamplona!

As most runners, I didn’t tell my parents I had made up my mind about running for the first time.

In fact, I promised my mother I would never run.

The first year I (secretly) run El Encierro, the Spanish national TV was already broadcasting the event daily. Totally unawares her son was endangering his life in front of a herd of raging bulls, my mother watched the action intently … until she recognized my T-shirt on the screen!

My then girlfriend and now my wife was also convinced I would not set one foot in front of those bulls.

But I did.

Until I became a father.

No, it’s not that the women in the family don’t know what the men are plotting!

They do!

This charade just makes things easier for all involved!

But now that I’m a father, I’m afraid, particularly about my 9-year-old.

As any other kid, he hates waking up in the mornings, especially during school days. But the week of the 7th of July, rain, hail or snow, by 5.30 am he’s perfectly dressed and combed.

If you rent one of our many balconies along the itinerary of the race you’ll meet the little guy. You see, we have come to an arrangement.

He promises to “help” prepare breakfast for our guests in exchange for a peek of the action.

My wife says I’ve brain-washed him but I really haven’t.

It’s just what it is. We live it and love it. Always. And there’s nothing no one can do about it.

This, in a nutshell, is my story. And I would love to share it in person with you from one of our balconies or during one of our experiences and/our tours.

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But in Pamplona Fiesta, I’m not alone.
To help me create memorable experiences for you in Pamplona, there’s a team of professionals that love this place, its culture and its people as much as I do.
Some are locals, some are adoptive sons of Pamplona who have lived here for a very long time…
But we all speak your language.

We promise and we deliver:
You will have the time of your life. Safely. And in very good company.

And we all share the same goal:

to ensure that everyone who comes to
Pamplona enjoys the many wonders this city
has to offer, safely and comfortably.

So come and hear our stories.
Come and share our love for this tradition.

Let us help you tick that bucket list item the smart way.

These valued customers have trusted their Pamplona Experience to us. Would you do the same?

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