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
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Music

The Handsome Family on 'True Detective' Emmy and…

When asked to describe The Handsome Family’s latest album, Rennie Sparks channels Rust Cohle of “True Detective.” “A strange problem that humans have is that…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.