Photography: Mikel Goñi
The second-last running of the bulls of Sanfermin 2009, with bulls from the Cadiz bull-ranch of Fuente Ymbro, turned out to be a very fast one, which only lasted 2 min. 23 sec. None of the runners received any goring and only three were removed to the public hospitals of Iruñea-Pamplona.
There were fewer runners than over the earlier days and indeed over the last few years, and the noble behavior of the bulls – and the correct behavior of the runners too – contributed to an exciting running with good runs to be seen on all the stretches of the course.
The bulls came out of the pens in Santo Domingo in a compact group and ran at a very fast pace up the stretch and soon one of the black bulls was leading the rest of the pack. This bull was several meters ahead of the others and the race was quite clean on this stretch.
The black bull continued to pull ahead as it entered City Hall square while the rest of the bulls ran in a compact group surrounded by the bell-oxen and ignoring the runners around them.
At the Mercaderes bend the leading bull was caught by the rest of the pack. Here none of the animals charged into the fencing or slipped up, which meant that they continued to run ahead at a fast pace.
In the Estafeta stretch, one of the most crowded stretches today, the pack continued to run in a tight group at first. But little by little, the bulls began to stretch out. A runner in a red tee shirt was knocked down by the leading bull and the rest of the pack passed over the fallen runner. Here the pack began to break into two groups – with four bulls in front surrounded by the bell-oxen and two other bulls somewhat behind after tripping up together. Some of the usual runners were able to display some good running close in front of the horns, without suffering the inconvenience of rookie and awkward participants who all too often take part in the running of the bulls without knowing anything of what it is about.
Both in Estafeta and in Telefónica as well as in the stretch leading down into the bullring, there were a number of trip-ups and falls, as always, but there was also some exciting running to be appreciated on all the stretches.
The bulls entered the bullring still in the formation of two groups with a leading group of four bulls and the other two coming somewhat behind. With some fast work from the "dobladores", all the bulls were quickly guided to the safety of the pens without more ado.