Francisco Cano Canito recibiendo el hiomenaje de Sanfermin.com y Kukuxumusu por sus 100 años

We will miss you, Canito

Canito is going to be missed. Indeed, he had already stopped coming to his annual date with Sanfermin due to his health problems. But up to a couple of years ago he never failed to keep his yearly rendezvous with the fiestas all down the decades. We have a special place in our hearts for him because, in 2010, Sanfermin.com dedicated its special Sanfermin tee shirt to him with lots of photographers of the Running of the Bulls and with an image as spectacular as it is hair-raising, taken at a Running of the Bulls from the 1950s. Two years later, Kukuxumusu paid homage to this same photographer when Francisco Cano celebrated his hundredth birthday. Since then, there were two occasions when we had to refute news of his death. Unfortunately, this third time it is really true. And we shall certainly miss him a lot. The realization that we will never again see his characteristic white cap protruding over the wooden fence in the bull ring will take some time to assume. And indeed, nor his favorite camera, which had an N painted over so that it read “Cano” instead of Canon.

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All the hospitalized runners have now been discharged

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.

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Mikel Lasa

Many injured but not serious

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.

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Blows from the Bell-Oxen in City Hall Square

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.

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Upheaval and pile-ups at the entrance to the bull ring

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.

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The bull that gored a friend

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.

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Blue bulls in Estafeta Street

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.

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10 minutes to go

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.

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