Sunday, July 17, 2011

Running With the Bulls 2011-- I ran in the first encierro (Peñajara) 2011 on Saint Fermin’s Day, July 7th. Other than a few quick shots, it was impossible to take pictures as you will see. Local runners also sneer at “tourists” with cameras and the police often eject them from the course before the run. But during the second encierro (Ganaderia Cedada Gago) the next day, I shot this amazing video from the safety of a balcony on the corner of Calle de La Estafeta called “dead man’s corner.” From this unique, up-close vantage point, one can almost sense the building excitement and necessary bravado of the runners just before the first rocket is shot skyward precisely at eight o’clock announcing that the gates of the overnight corral on Calle de Santo Domingo are open, followed moments later by a second rocket signaling that the bulls are now loose on the streets. Panic and fear then sets in with a crush of tangled and fallen runners, which is the real danger, and it’s over in seconds as the six, half-ton fighting bulls and eight herding bullocks skid and speedily run by the cowering runners bunched at the opposite corner. Incredibly, only a few runners suffered minor injuries at this deadly corner. For a professional video of the first encierro from start to finish, click on my 1st Encierro San Fermin 2011 page in the top right corner.

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