4 Hurt as Pamplona Kicks Off

No one gets gored, but there's still plenty of time

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 7, 2013 10:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Spain's annual running of the drunken thrillseekers, er, bulls, kicked off today, as thousands crowded the storied streets of Pamplona to test their mettle against the beasts. The end result was four injuries (one American, one Aussie, one Brit, and one native of Pamplona, for those keeping score at home), but mercifully zero of those were gored, reports the AP. "It's tremendous how many people there are here today," said Pamplona's mayor of crowds that were swelled because the run fell on a weekend.

For the uninitiated, on each morning of the nine-day Fiesta de San Fermin, six bulls and six steers race the streets from a holding pen to a central bull ring where matadors—and near-certain death—await. Bulls have killed 15 people since 1924. "The first feeling while you're running is just surviving," says one American participant. "I feel very fortunate that the people of Pamplona should share all this with us."

Revelers are sprayed with water thrown from balconies during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas, Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Pamplona.
Revelers are sprayed with water thrown from balconies during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas, Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Pamplona.   (Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
A reveler drives an Alcurrucen's ranch fighting bull to the bullring during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Sunday, July 7, 2013. Revelers from around the world arrive to Pamplona every year to take part in some of the eight days of the...
A reveler drives an Alcurrucen's ranch fighting bull to the bullring during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Sunday, July 7, 2013. Revelers from around the world...   (Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
A reveler jumps from a fountain after the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas, Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. Revelers from around the world kick off the San Fermin festival with a messy party in the Pamplona town...
A reveler jumps from a fountain after the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas, Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. Revelers from around...   (Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
One horse of Spanish mounted bullfighter Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, looks at the bull during a horseback bullfight at San Fermin Fiestas, in Pamplona, northern Spain on Saturday, July 6, 2013.
One horse of Spanish mounted bullfighter Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, looks at the bull during a horseback bullfight at San Fermin Fiestas, in Pamplona, northern Spain on Saturday, July 6, 2013.   (Alvaro Barrientos)
An Alcurrucen's ranch fighting bull runs towards revelers during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Sunday, July 7, 2013. Revelers from around the world arrive to Pamplona every year to take part on some of the eight days of the running of the...
An Alcurrucen's ranch fighting bull runs towards revelers during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Sunday, July 7, 2013. Revelers from around the world arrive to...   (Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
A reveler grabs the horn of an Alcurrucen's ranch fighting bull during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Sunday, July 7, 2013.
A reveler grabs the horn of an Alcurrucen's ranch fighting bull during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Sunday, July 7, 2013.   (Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Revelers sing as a band plays after the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas, Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. Revelers from around the world kick off the San Fermin festival with a messy party in the Pamplona town...
Revelers sing as a band plays after the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas, Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. Revelers from around...   (Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
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