Four thousand participate in Virginia’s running of the bulls

Fear is a strong motivation when you are looking for exercise. Credit: Getty Images
The running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
Credit: Getty Images

About 4,000 people – dressed in everything from thongs to superhero costumes – dodged 1,000-pound bulls as they sprinted down a quarter-mile dirt track on Saturday in rural Virginia’s version of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

It was the first event of what promoters say will be a national, 10-city bull-running tour modeled on the annual Pamplona event.

“I just didn’t want to die, to get trampled by bulls and die,” said Cat Jones, 22, who works in engineering and traveled from New York City for the run.

“It was a rush … a shot of adrenalin,” she said.

Jones had such a thrill dodging bulls and watching them race by at breakneck speed that she paid $30 to run again in the afternoon.

The first six runs were conducted with about 500 runners each, chased by 12 bulls, and the last run featured 24 bulls chasing about 700 runners.

About 8,000 people came to watch the runs, said Rob Dickens, co-founder and chief operating officer of the Boston-based Great Bull Run. Most of those who signed up were 18 to 40 years old, and about 40 percent were women.

Two runners were taken to the hospital with concussion-like symptoms, according to Great Bull Run. One other runner saw a medic after being knocked down and stepped on by other participants.

Every participant in the race had to sign a waiver, absolving the organizers of liability in case of injury.

Dickens said it was “doing something dangerous and living to tell the tale” that draws participants to the event.

“I wanted to test myself,” said Laurie Blaha, 27, of Richmond, Virginia..

Blaha said she passed the test, conquering the fear and nervousness she had before the bulls ran onto the track.

“It was exhilarating,” Blaha said. “I would definitely do it again.”

Dickens said the only major problem came on the first run of the day, when the initial group of six bulls stopped about midway down the dirt course.

They didn’t start running again until six additional bulls were let out of the gates. Dickens said they apparently did not have the confidence to run alone, and needed more company.

After that, he said the staff overseeing the bulls began sending 12 bulls at a time.

In nearly all the runs held during the day, the bulls started slowly and then quickly accelerated to a stampede-like pace.

The Virginia run was set on the grounds of the Virginia Motorsport Park, a drag strip south of Richmond.

Animals rights groups, such as PETA, have protested the Great Bull Run, saying the events puts stress on the animals.

Dickens has said the bulls are not harmed and has invited anyone observing someone abusing the animals to report it.

The next Great Bull Run is scheduled for October 19 in Atlanta. Other cities on the nationwide tour include Houston, Tampa and Los Angeles.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Music

polyphonic

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…