The Adrenalist

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The Running Of The Bulls



The San Fermin Fiesta in Pamplona, Spain, running from  July 6–14, has been described as “adrenaline over the top.” That is an understatement.

The fiesta features runners racing with a dozen or so bulls. Unleashed on a sectioned-off stretch of Pamplona streets, the bulls cover the half-mile course in about two minutes. At points, they have been clocked at speeds faster than an Olympic sprinter. Runners will be with the bulls for just about ten yards that may feel like the longest of their lives before the beasts barrel past.

Even two months before San Fermin, a runner may start brooding about the coming of the bulls — cue perspiration and a racing pulse. As the half-mile run gets closer, anticipation sharpens. When, finally, the rocket goes off, fear evaporates and everything goes blank. As the bulls barrel past, he feels a wave of extreme relief mingled with exaltation.

Originally a local rite of passage into manhood, the event has evolved. Now it attracts daredevils from all over the world, eager to feel the thrill of dodging a charging 2,000-pound hunk of sirloin. If you feel like giving it a go, stay sober. The festival has been snidely called the Running of the Drunks, but if you want to avoid those pointy horns, you should probably be as alert as possible.

The run is incredibly intense — so intense that you may get hooked and find you keep returning for more mayhem every July.

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