HOUSTON - If The Great Bull Run is scheduled for Houston, you can expect rare winter weather. The run was canceled in December because of an arctic front and re-scheduled for this weekend.
On Friday, icy conditions again forced a practice run for the bulls at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown to be canceled but organizers say not even sleet or snow will stop the run from happening on Saturday.
Is this possible weather karma because they are importing bulls into Texas from Kentucky for the run? Or maybe it's just called winter.
Either way, 3,000 thousand people are signed up for the Great Bull Run in a state where people pride themselves on riding bulls and not running from them.
The oldest person signed up is 69 and the youngest is 18. (You have to be 18 to sign up.)
Another 2,000 people are expected to bundle up and watch family and friends run from the bulls or scream and jump the fences.
Since the first events in Richmond and Atlanta, 8,000 people have tried their luck.
Most have faired well but organizers said there were 3 significant injuries at the first 2 events: one person with a concussion, one person with a broken hand and one person with a broken pelvis and that is why there is a mandatory insurance fee when you register and medical personnel on site.
The most common injuries are scrapes and bruises and some twisted ankles.
There are 6 runs scheduled for every half hour from 11 am - 1:30pm on Saturday.
Twenty four bulls will be used in each of the six runs at Royal Purple Raceway, 2525 South FM 565, Baytown. Organizers said the same bulls are used in each city and are supplied by a rodeo company based in Kentucky.
As it is in Pamplona, there is no starting line and no finish line. Participants pick a spot on the course, are encouraged multiple times to space out, and then runners wait for the bulls and run. The 1,500 pound bulls come down the quarter mile dirt track at an estimated 35 miles per hour toward a sea of scrambling runners in red bandanas.
After participants catch their breath from the run and hopefully marvel at their success, there is a Tomato Royale, or tomato food fight, scheduled for 2:15 pm.
You can sign up for the Tomato Royale without running with the bulls.
If you join in, prepare to get messy, very messy. Thirty thousand pounds of overripe tomatoes are ordered for Houston's Tomato Royale where participants throw tomatoes into the air and at each other. Let's hope those tomatoes get thawed out first.
Tomato Royale tips: wear goggles (not your 5 year-old's dollar goggles but think big high school biology lab goggles), depending on how messy you like to get bring a poncho or raincoat to wear, put jugs of water in your car to clean off after and bring a change of clothes for the ride home.
Leave your dog at home. You can wear your goPro and send your videos and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Great Bull Run website shows 2 of the races are sold out and others at 90% but there are still spaces left. http://www.thegreatbullrun.com/events/houston-2013/
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