Spain/Navarre: Pamplona – Running of the Bulls
Running of the Bulls happens every morning at 8am during the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona – it is the centerpiece of the activities. The runners assemble and then “get released” onto the blocked street before the start. Spectators crowd all the windows and balconies along the route. The gun goes of at 8am and the bulls stampede for about 2 minutes with runners sprinting in front and all around. The TV cameras capture everything live, including the injuries and goring. On the day I watched from the balcony – 1 guy got gored through shoulder, another dragged by the neck tie and broke his neck, a couple more trampled over, and another smashed into a wall. Exciting! When the run is over, everybody gets in front of the TV and watches the often bloody recap. Running with the Bulls was for a long time on my bucket list and – for better or worse – I wasn’t able to actually run with the horned 500kg beasts when I finally made it to Pamplona this year. In a freak self-induced incident the day before the run – while practicing the sprint in front of a zamboni-like street cleaning vehicle – I severely sprained my calf muscle (no I didn’t get gored by the zamboni). At least this didn’t happen in front of the bulls!