Pamplona's famous "running of the bulls" in pictures

Friday, July 13, 2007

Each year, several revelers are hospitalised. Medics had to put a neck brace on this man during the running on Tuesday.
Image: Baltasar García.

The nine day San Fermín festival, commonly known as the running of the bulls (or "el encierro" in Spanish) in Pamplona, Spain, is the most famous of all such events.

Like every year, several revelers are gored, both locals and tourists. Some 800 000 tourists were estimated to have come to Pamplona last weekend. On Thursday, 13 people were admitted to the hospital, seven of whom were gored. Three of the latter had to have surgery.

The bulls are released from a gate 825 metres away from the bullring.
Image: Baltasar García.

A 48-year-old man from Pamplona was in a critical condition after being gored in the chest. Other serious incidents involved a Mexican and a German man in their twenties. Runners from Poland, Norway, Spain and the United States also sustained injuries.

Thursday's run lasted six minutes, where a normal run is only two minutes long. Normally, the pack of bulls stays together, but in this run they separated, which is more dangerous for the runners. Since 1924, there have been 13 fatalities, the last of whom was an American in 1995.

The 825 metre run garnered international fame after Ernest Hemingway described the running in his 1926 book The Sun Also Rises. The end of the run is the bullring where the matadors will deal with the bulls.

Animal rights activists protest the bull-running because they believe the tradition is cruel to the animals. Tomorrow, the eighth and final run will be held, at 8:00 a.m. CEST (UTC+2).