Americans will no longer have to travel to Spain to get trampled on by hordes of running bulls. The Great Bull Run, a new US-based event, will allow thrillseekers to experience Pamplona's favorite pastime stateside, reports the AP. The first run will be held near Richmond, Virginia, on August 24, with about 5,000 people already signed up to sprint through a fenced-in course set up on a drag-racing strip. A second event is scheduled for October in Atlanta, with more planned for Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois, and Pennsylvania sometime in the future.
The organizers of the Great Bull Run say their event will be safer than the famous Spanish festival that inspired them, where many runners are brutally gored every year, and even sometimes killed. The course will have built-in "coves" that allow the participants to quickly get out of a bull's path, while the bulls used will be locally bred and less aggressive than Spanish fighting bulls, they say. And unlike Pamplona, the organizers say their bulls will not be killed or deliberately mistreated. Still, the Humane Society is predictably unimpressed. "These events are a shameful example of cruelty for the sake of nothing more than entertainment and profit," says a spokesperson, per USA Today. "We call on the USDA to investigate these entities immediately."