It takes only 3 minutes! Just as long it takes you to fill a cup of coffee or heat up a Tapas Omelette.
But these 3 minutes are the most insane in this world: Some six fighting bulls gone wild are chasing through down the streets of Pamplona after a bunch of people that are running for their lives. Neither the bulls nor the runners can escape on this course. After that, the TV stations show a video summary of the race and count the injuries and deadly overuns.
Tomorrow again at 8 am Spanish time, the San Fermin 2009 bull run will take place! Just like every year.
The exact origin of this fiesta is not really clear, but the inaugural event was sometime in the 13th century. By then it was a more low key affair in comparison to the modern day running of the bulls as it only lasted two days. Nowaday the event attracts people from all over the world for a 10-day celebration involving music, party, bull run and bull fights, dancing, fireworks and lots of drinking.
For ten days, there will be every morning a race through the the old town. The length of the run is 825 metres and the average time of the run from start to finish is about three minutes. The run will end in Pamplona’s arena for anybody that made it (including the bulls).
The tension builds as the release of the bulls approaches and at 8am on the dot a rocket is fired to confirm that the gate has been opened at the Santo Domingo corral. Runners dressed in white with a red hankerchief around their necks pray to San Fermin then a second rocket announces that the bulls have left. The bulls and the runners then proceed along the route.
I took this picture last year, just after the first run. The result of only 9 injured persons shows that it was a rather lucky first run. Visit the official website to find video’s and pictures this year’s runs.
Added on 7/8 -This is a great video of this year’s first race: