More than a thousand visitors from 32 different countries enjoyed the San Fermín fiestas thanks to the services offered by Destino Navarra and Sanfermin.com, including the use of 98% of the balcony places on offer for the Running of the bulls.
The 12 gored runners and the other 52 who suffered severe traumatic injuries over the eight Running of the Bulls events of Sanfermin 2016 almost totaled a new record for runners receiving hospital treatment in the different hospitals of the Navarra Hospital Complex. Finally, all of them have now been discharged from hospital and have returned to their own countries and cities to receive further treatment. While some are not fully recovered just yet, they do have a great story to relate about their experiences of the Sanfermin fiestas.
The Sanfermin 2016 Running of the Bulls did not especially stand out for their dramatic moments, nor were they especially spectacular to watch. Nevertheless, the hard facts have their own story to tell: the figure of 52 injured runners for severe contusion and bruising equals the record set in 1993 and the 12 gorings, alongside the years of 2001 and 2002, make up the second highest number of gorings ever since records have been kept on the Running of the Bulls in San Fermín fiestas. The average figure for the duration of the runnings works out as the sixth fastest ones, in front of the 2 min. and 56 sec. of 2004 and behind the 2 min. 46 sec. of 2011.
Photographies: Miguel Fernández
The real danger in this final Running of the Bulls of Sanfermin 2016, which featured the Miura bulls, came, of course, from these big bulls, especially on the final stretch just at the entrance to the bull ring, where a momentary upheaval was created by a pile-up of animals and runners, which surprisingly ended up without any serious injuries. But today, the bell-oxen also had their moment of glory when one of them began to swipe its way alongside the fencing in city hall square.
Photographies: Pío Guerendiáin
The most dangerous moments of the final Running of the Bulls of Sanfermin 2016 occurred at the entrance to the arena when a small pile-up of runners was formed which created a grotesque few moments where bulls, bell-oxen and runners all got entangled together in a kind of grotesque version of a Marx Brothers pandemonium scene. Surprisingly, nobody came out of it with any kind of serious injury.
The first day at work, when a long –dreamed fantasy becomes a reality. All those who live the Sanfermin fiestas with passion, dream of immortalizing its face. The Running of the Bulls forms a core part of a range of experiences filled with emotions during the fiestas and, for anyone who loves photography, to work during this event is something almost magical.
Miguel Fernández, a photographer from Sanfermin.com captured the image of a goring on his very first year at the photographer’s fencing. However, what he did not expect to find was that the runner on the receiving end of the bad goring was none other than a close friend of his: Juan Pedro Lecuona. The bull, whose victim his friend was to become, is the one in the image that is racing down to the entrance of the bull ring in the photo. “This dun-colored bull is the one who gored my friend, Lecuona. It was a really awesome moment for me”, explains Fernández.
Fotos: Maite H. Mateo
The single goring at today’s seventh Running of the Bulls of Sanfermin 2016 took place at the entrance to the City Hall square just at the end of Santo Domingo, but perhaps the most awesome images from the event are found in the stampede that one runner suffered right at the corner of Mercaderes.
At seven thirty in the evening, three bulls from the Kukuxumusu bull-ranch, the mythical Mister Testis bull-breed, came rushing out from the corner of Mercaderes to run the approx.400 meters that covers the distance all the way to the top of Estafeta Street. They were by no means alone. Indeed, they were surrounded on all sides, front, rear, and on both sides, by a swarm of kids who were hell-bent on imitating just what the adults do when they take part in The Running of the Bulls.
Everyone should be aware that Running the Bulls is by no means a frivolous event. To run against the horns of a fighting bull, to expose yourself so directly in front of an animal that could so easily kill you, needs at least some preparation, both physical and mental. A large part of that preparation involves the mental aspect. The control of one’s emotions is vital when one’s very life is in danger. Some runners think through their run and try to anticipate, to the extent that this is possible, how the Running will unfold and to anticipate some possible escapes, should this become necessary when the bull is drawing close. Others simply try to overcome any sense of fear and look to family, friends and above all, other runners for comfort when fear creeps in before they run.
This year’s sixth Running of the Bulls had few incidents of note, and few reasons for any runners to be sent off for hospital treatment. In fact, only a mere five runners needed some treatment for contusions and bruising. But funny enough, at least one runner may end up going to the lost property office or to the local police station, after today’s running.