The running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain is inherently dangerous as 1500 pound bulls with sharpened horns dash through the streets with thrill seeking runners alongside.
The entire race takes about three minutes and covers about 900 yards with runners only taking part in segments of the race.
Wednesday, 32-year-old Chicagoan Bill Hillmann, an experienced runner who has participated in more than 100 such events, was gored in his right leg near the end of the race.
“He'd finished his run, and then he'd heard there was a loose bull and he went back up through the tunnel into the street, found this bull, managed to get it to chase after him and was luring it down into the tunnel to take it into the bull ring,” said Alexander Fiske-Harrison, who co-authored the book “How to survive the bulls of Pamplona” with Hillman.
Fiske-Harrison said he was about 200 yards away and did not see the goring, but visited his friend in the hospital.
“It's a serious wound, it's a horn wound of a bull, so it's thick, like a gunshot wound straight through the thigh,” said Fiske-Harrison, who added that Hillman is in good spirits.
If this centuries old tradition is something on your bucket list, you don’t need to travel to Spain to experience the same thrill. It’s going to be happening at Hawthorne Race Track on Saturday when The Great Bull Run comes to town.
“We do seven runs throughout the day and in each run there are about 600 people, so about 600 people and 18 bulls,” said Rob Dickens, chief operating officer of the event.
He said the bulls, from a traveling rodeo, each weigh about 1500 pounds. Chicago will be the eighth event this past year for The Great Bull Run, which is making its first visit to the Chicago area. Dickens said they have never had anyone get gored so far.
"We've had people get hit by bulls horns quite a few times and the most they have are pretty bad bruises and concussions.”
As for Hillman, he apparently wants to run with the bulls again, but Fisk-Harrison said there’s one hurdle.
“If his wife lets him.”
Fifteen people have died from gorings since record-keeping began in 1924. Dozens of people are injured each year in the runs, most of them in falls.