July 14th, 2008


The last Pamplona run for 2008

The eighth and final running of the bulls in Pamplona was quick and clean this morning with no gorings, although several runners suffered broken bones from falls. The bulls from the Núñez de Cuvillo Ranch remained in a compact herd until halfway through the route and tried to stick together throughout, generally ignoring the runners.

Like all the runs this year, it was faster than average, only 2 minutes 37 seconds. The ranches had been preparing their bulls for Pamplona, making them do laps around their pastures. They arrived ready to run.

Perhaps because the runs last less time, there have been fewer gorings this year, only 4, while the annual average has been 7.

You can see today's run here:

El Mundo newspaper has compiled a set of videos of the most historic Pamplona runs:

You will notice that many runners hold a rolled-up newspaper in one hand. It represents the runner's "horn," because ideally, the runner just another bull and tries to acquire the virtues of the bull, such as strength and courage.

The bulls this year behaved especially nobly, forgoing chances to injure runners, although the foolish actions of some runners deserved punishment. Maybe these people left Pamplona with more forgiving characters as the result of lessons learned. I will try to be more bullish.

Pamplona's fiesta is much more than bulls. Hundreds of activities appeal to all ages and interests. More than a million people attend. It's a genuine international festival, and the city is proud to welcome people from around the world. Usually about half the runners come from the United States, although this year the weak dollar has cut back on tourism.

The fiesta ends tonight with the song "Pobre de mí (Poor me)," but fiestas continue all across Spain, with other bull runs, and lots of song, food, dancing, wine, fireworks, theater, movies, exhibitions, games, parades, contests, markets, historical reenactments, and more. ¡Adelante, amigos! The summer is young.

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    horny poor me? nope
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