Crowds Gather for Day 2 of Spain's Running of Bulls
PAMPLONA, Spain – Six massive bulls charged down Pamplona's people-clogged streets Saturday, tossing aside those unfortunate enough to get in their way during the world's most famous planned rampage: the festival of San Fermin.
The second run of eight at the festival came one day after an American man, Ray Ducharme, was thrown Friday and left partially paralyzed during an event in the Plaza de Toros that followed the bull run. He remained in serious condition Saturday, said Jose Mari Colomo, spokesman for the Pamplona City council.
"He is still in intensive care with tubes to help him breathe. His condition is very serious, according to the doctors," Colomo said.
No one was gored Saturday despite the huge weekend crowd of daredevils sprinting along the 825-yard route, and just a few people suffered bumps or bruises, Colomo said.
One man was flipped in the air by a bull that got separated from the pack after the animal slipped at a notorious, sharp turn leading into the homestretch. The straggler was a 1,300-pound specimen named Carafeo, or 'ugly face.' One person was taken to Virgen del Camino hospital with slight injuries, officials said.
Saturday and Sunday runs tend to draw twice as many runners as weekday ones — 4,000 compared with 2,000. The bull runs start at 8 a.m. during the nine-day festival, and they follow nights of dancing, partying and lots of drinking.
Some 1.5 million people come to this ancient northern city to participate, increasing Pamplona's population by nearly seven times.
The San Fermin festival is hundreds of years old, dating back to the 16th century, but it was Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel, "The Sun Also Rises," that made it the international event it is today.
Many older participants say the book and the sense of romance is what drew them in, while younger revelers admit they came more for the round-the-clock partying.
Since record-keeping began in 1924, 13 people have been killed during the runs. The last death was in 1995.
On Friday, Ducharme, a 31-year-old bond trader for Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C., was injured in what is known as a vaquilla, in which hundreds of people chase five cows around the bull ring, pulling their ears and tail.
The animals are females, and smaller than fighting bulls, but they still weigh hundreds of pounds.