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How I Survived the Running of the Bulls

By Dave Fox

I have been keeping a secret.

My secret is that for many months, I have been making plans to do something very special this week. I have been making plans to participate in Pamplona, Spain’s legendary Running of the Bulls.

I decided to participate in the Running of the Bulls for personal reasons. I felt a need to challenge myself, to test my limits, and to fully taste how sweet and fragile life can be. I did not tell anyone I was participating in the event because, to be honest, I just didn’t want to deal with a lot of well-intended admonitions to “be careful.” I did not want to hear concerned but skeptical friends tell me I was not in good enough shape to participate in such an event.

So, secretly, I participated in yesterday’s Running of the Bulls.

Today, I am still alive, and unscarred.

At least seven people were gored yesterday. I am pleased to report that I was not one of them. I am fine.

The primary way I managed to keep myself safe during the event was that I took some basic safety precautions, the most important of which was that I participated in the Running of the Bulls by reading about it online from my hotel room here in Bergen, Norway. It is my understanding that some people actually go out into the streets of Pamplona — while the bulls are running!! That is downright stupid. Those are some badass animals. No person in their right mind would tangle with them.

I was told that the main reason people participate in the Running of the Bulls is for the adrenaline rush. I felt that yesterday. My adrenaline was pumping after I looked at a picture of a medic trying to treat a gored runner. It was pumping because the medic had an expression on her face that was all, “Hey, this guy is, like, injured!” And I was thinking, “Duh! He stood in front of a bull! A bull with big-ass horns! That guy is a freaking idiot!”

I do not like idiots. They make me angry, and that gets my adrenaline pumping.

Last week, a group of Spanish women demanded that there should be a “Running of the Cows” for ladies and lady bovines. Yeah, okay, whatever. When I read about this proposal, I thought, “Maybe I will do that next year. Maybe I will participate in the Running of the Cows.” But apparently, the organizers want this to be a woman’s only event.

Okay, fine. I find your restrictions a bit ridiculous, but if you insist, I promise not to read the news that day.

Published on Saturday, July 14, 2007

One Response to “How I Survived the Running of the Bulls”

  1. Jeri
    October 9, 2007 at 1:11 AM

    I am responding to a really old post on your blog, Dave, but I am here to tell you that The Running of the Cows will not be any less… um… adrenaline-pumping than the Running of the Bulls. Anyone who is picturing a herd of sedate Daisy Belles sauntering placidly through the public square has never been face-to-face with an angry cow.
    But I have, and I lived to tell the tale for the simple reason that I can run really really fast when an enraged, horn-bedecked beast is chasing me with unbelievable speed and deadly intent. Even more important, even as a teenager I had the presence of mind to ignore a man (my father) who exhorted, “Block her off! Stop her!” while perched safely on a tractor.

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