Each of the beasts weighs half a ton; but that does not stop hundreds of mainly young men wanting to throw themselves in front of bulls every year at the San Firmin festival. It is an ancient tradition, and for Pamplona in Spain it is both a high and low point every year. High in drama, passion and excitement, low with the sometimes tragic consequences.
In the last 80 years there have been 15 deaths. This year may have seen no fatalities yet but the bulls gored and trampled seven people into hospital, three with serious injuries. One of them has been paralysed below the waist. Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” made Pamplona a macho backpacker’s must-visit destination; today many runners are not locals, but tourists. Four of the injured came from abroad.