Lightning Bulls

Seven runners suffer traumatisms in one of the fastest runs of the past years

Photography: Xabier Lizarraga

The Ventorrillo bull-breed from Toledo featured in the third running of the bulls of this year's Sanfermin fiestas. It was an exciting and very fast run which only lasted 2 min.20 sec. and there were seven runners removed to the Iruñea-Pamplona hospitals for treatment. The pack ran in a very compact group almost to the end of Estafeta Street and, although there were a lot of trip-ups and slip-ups from both bulls and runners, it seems that there were no serious injuries caused to the runners. The moment of greatest danger was at the end of the Estafeta stretch going into Telefónica, when a black bull and a brown one slipped up together and knocked some runners to the ground. The bulls quickly got to their feet and trampled the fallen runners as they charged ahead. Luckily, the runners also moved quickly and avoided the horns of the bulls.

The pack of bulls charged out of the pens in Santo Domingo at a very fast pace and they ran in a compact group for most of the course, almost until the end of Estafeta Street, headed by three bell-oxen. It was very difficult for the runners to find space in front of the horns as the bulls were running close together. None of the bulls made any threatening moves to charge at the runners.

The pack raced across City Hall Square at a rapid pace and into Mercaderes. One bull slipped up at the bend leading into Estafeta Street and there were a few moments of danger when a runner entered the bend on the left side, with the bulls on his right. Luckily, the runner stayed on his feet and was not squashed against the wall by the bulls and the runner continued to run very fast up the narrow space on the left side. In spite of the danger, this image was the most spectacular one of today's run.

In Estafeta Street the pack continued to run in a compact group so it was very difficult for the runners to find any space close in front of the horns. There were a lot of falls and trip-ups, but it seems that there were no serious injuries. At the end of Estafeta going into Telefónica, tension mounted when a black bull and a brown one collided and several runners were knocked to the ground in the process. Now the pack was a little more stretched out and a dun-colored bull was now leading the field followed by one of the bell-oxen. On the left side of this stretch at Telefónica there was a small pile-up, but none of the bulls threatened to charge the runners.

The pack of bulls entered the bullring lead by the dun-colored bull and three bell-oxen and the rest of the field was coming up quickly behind. Without putting up any resistance, all the animals were quickly led away to the pens without further ado.