PAMPLONA – Thousands of thrill-seekers avoided getting gored Saturday during the bull run of Pamplona’s San Fermín Festival, officials said, revising an early report saying bull horns stabbed two men.
Officials in the Spanish city officials corrected the preliminary report by Pamplona’s hospital to state that a man was scratched on the buttocks but not pierced by a horn.
After the morning run through narrow streets ended, another man suffered a laceration when a wild cow was set loose in the city's bullring for individuals to test their evasion maneuvers, according to the update.
A total of seven men — six Spaniards and one Frenchman— needed to be treated at the hospital, according to authorities. None of the injuries appeared serious.
While it turned out no one was skewered, the main event produced close calls for the human runners. Some of the massive bulls opted to knock aside people in their path instead of running them through with a potentially deadly horn.
Several runners were stomped or bowled over by the half-dozen bulls and the six tame oxen that help guide them along the 875-meter (956-yard) course through Pamplona’s old quarter.
There were no gorings on the first two days of this year's festival either. Saturday’s bull run was the third of eight scheduled and took 2 1/2 minutes.
Thousands of runners, most wearing the traditional white shirt and pants with red sash and neckerchief, scampered to avoid the charging animals. Many ended up piled on top of each other in the narrow cobblestone streets of the course.
Only expert runners can sprint for short stretches right in front of the horns of a bull before jumping out of the way at the last moment.
The collective adrenaline rush of the bull run is followed by general hedonism with people drinking, eating, attending concerts and partying late into the night.
The six bulls that run each morning are killed in bullfights by professional bullfighters later in the day. Pamplona's bullring is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
Eight people were gored in 2019, the last festival before a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixteen people have died in Pamplona’s bull runs since 1910, with the last death in 2009.
The Pamplona festival, which was made known to the English-speaking world through Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises,” draws tens of thousands of visitors from around the world.