Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Bullish on Speed

My racing days are long over, and even the impending 7th surgery will not bring them back. Too bad because somewhere on my list of things to do in search of adrenaline would be to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The run itself is short: 850 meters (928 yds), a little more than a half mile, but it's not exactly a walk in the park because some of the bulls, especially the Dolores Aguirre ones (seen below) have a tendency to poke people with those pointy things on their heads as they rumble unknowingly to the bullring where they will meet their demise. Some of the runners meet a horrible fate much earlier, and since 1925, 15 foolhardy (or just slow) would-be bullrunners have perished (most recently in 2009).
Here are some interesting facts about the event:
1. The festival is held in honor of Saint Fermin, the first bishop of Pamplona who was eventually beheaded in Amiens, France (not dragged through the streets of Pamplona by bulls, as some would suggest).
2. It is the largest festival in Spain as more than 1,000,000 people arrive annually for the event which runs from July 6 through July 14.
3. Common knowledge indicates that the first Westerners heard about the festival was through its inclusion in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.
4. Bulls run through the streets led or followed by derring-do types all eight days of the festival, not just the opening one.
5. Along with the fighting bulls run 8 non-fighting animals noted by their brown and white coloring instead of the more fierce black coloring of the dangerous ones.
6. A half mile is a LONG way when a bull is chasing!

If you decide to go, remember that you don't have to outrun the bulls: you have to outrun the slowest runners :)

Check out the video from this year: The guys in the green shirts that follow the bulls are there to keep them moving in the right if the prospect of spearing hundreds of guys stupid enough to get in their way isn't motivation enough!
The guys following the bulls NOT in the green shirts are just sissies. I could follow.
Even after the next operation.


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