PAMPLONA, Spain – A herd of bulls pummeled the streets of Pamplona in record time on Tuesday for the fourth day of Spain’s famous Sanfermines fiesta, which saw at least seven people hospitalized, though none were gored.
The beasts from the Fuente Ymbro ranch ran the 875-meter (just over half a mile) course in just 2 minutes, 15 seconds, beating their fastest-ever time by 4 seconds and running the fastest race so far this year, as they stormed down streets that were crowded with thousands of thrill-seeking mozos there to tempt their fate.
Among the seven injured, who have all since been discharged from the hospital, were a 50-year-old man from the United States identified only by his initials as DM, who suffered a broken collar bone and a 20-year-old from Pamplona, who took a blow to a knee and the back.
Three revelers, including a 38-year-old German national, were treated for dislocated shoulders and two locals from the Navarre region aged 18 and 23 were also hospitalized with mild trauma.
Fuente Ymbro’s hulking bulls, weighing 500-575 kilograms (1,100-1,267 pounds) thundered down the street as an unstoppable herd, heads bent down and determined to charge through the crowds as fast as possible.
One animal tripped over a mass of fallen mozos and fell behind, while another, with an uncommon peach coloring that made it resemble a steer, simply lost speed in the final third and decided to take its time finishing.
The course was much more crowded than is usual on a Tuesday in Sanfermines, and many mozos could be seen struggling to fight their way through the packed streets as the beasts barreled towards them.
More inexperienced runners made dangerous decisions when faced with the bulls, with some trying to grab the animals’ horns as they ran and another, who had fallen, trying to stand up when the herd was right behind him.
A bull immediately whacked him on the back and knocked him onto the floor again, where he lay in a fetal position as the herd trampled him, fortunately escaping with light injuries.
As the wounded mozos recovered from the ordeal, the approximately one million people who flock to Pamplona for the iconic fiesta may ply other runners with wine and local delicacies in exchange for tales of their face-off with the beasts, which are later to battle it out with matadors in the ring.