July 8, 2005

Hundreds dodge gorings in packed Spanish bull run

By Emma Ross-Thomas

PAMPLONA, Spain (Reuters) - Hundreds of thrill seekers from
around the world raced through the streets ahead of six
half-tonbulls on Friday but all avoided gorings in the second
day of Pamplona's running of the bulls.

A 37-year-old man from this northern Spanish city, Josetxo
Espada, was taken to hospital with a head injury but was then
discharged, a hospital spokesman said. Bulls trod on two others
and another 22 were slightly injured, the Red Cross said.

Bull running, part of the week-long San Fermin fiesta, has
killed 15 people since 1910, the last two years ago.

Each morning six bulls are set loose on a 825-meter
(2,700-foot) course through the cobbled streets of the northern
Spanish city where thrill seekers run with the half-tonanimals
to the bull ring.

While most of the adrenalin-pumped runners avoid the huge
beasts, the experts try to get in front of the bulls' horns.

Jose Manuel Garcia, a 35-year-old Spaniard, said he was
more anxious about not getting close than about being pierced
by a horn. "You endure the fear, get the people out of the way,
and get the bull," he said.

Runners often tumble, sometimes into heaps, where they get
trampled by each other and by the bulls.

"People are falling, you see people really scared, you see
the sheer terror and you just run," Neil Warner, a 31-year-old
from Watford, Britain, said.

The centuries-old fiesta became known internationally after
Ernest Hemingway's 1920s novel of thwarted love and heavy
drinking "The Sun Also Rises." The party is particularly
popular with Americans, Australians and Britons.

Rick Musica, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, attends every
year to meet a group of Americans, who have been coming for 30

"Every day I envision the perfect run and one of these days
it's going to happen ... My goal is to be part of the herd,"
the 39-year old flight attendant said.

Fans of former American basketball star Dennis Rodman
shouted with delight as the giant athlete appeared on the
course on Friday, for a second year.

Women were forbidden from running for decades but this year
several ran and on Thursday a young Canadian woman was

But fellow Canadian woman Paige Campbell was unruffled.

"I was nervous and excited but I wasn't terrified. I felt
I'd thought it out well," the 32-year-old from Edmonton, said.