It was very, very fast – lasting just two minutes and 13 seconds – and spectacular, with some beautiful runs, and it was clean, with early reports suggesting just two bruised runners and no gorings. That was the sixth Running of the Bulls at San Fermín, which featured animals from the Madrid stockbreeder Victoriano del Río, which was visiting Pamplona for the seventh time. Barring any updates, they also lived up to their reputation as the least dangerous.
With fewer runners on the streets than was seen at the weekend, but with the streets more densely packed out closer to the bullring, the run was a dream for any experienced mozo, as the runners are known, thanks to the veterans having space to run alongside the herd.
When the group reached the door of the corral, the clock was showing a record time for the stockbreeder, which had previously been set at two minutes and 14 seconds.
At 8am on the dot, the first animal to charge up the Santo Domingo hill was a tame bullock, with four black bulls closing up the group. In just a few seconds, two more tame bullocks took the lead with just a few meters to go before they reached the first runners.
By the end of the slope, three bulls were leading the herd and were charging along at high speed. By that point just one runner had been trampled.
A few more had fallen to the ground to be stomped on by the animals by Mercaders street, and at the Estafeta bend the animals had no choice but to crash into the fencing, where, fortunately, there were no runners to bear the impact.
The straight part of Estafeta allowed the bulls to build up a head of steam once more, the fighting animals beginning to leave the tame bullocks behind.
At the Telefónica curve, the animals veered to the right, and thanks to their momentum cleared the fence of the runners and spectators who were perched there
One of the bulls slipped and fell before reaching the end of the street, but quickly made it up again and rejoined the race.
At the Telefónica curve, the animals veered to the right, and thanks to their momentum cleared the fence of the runners and spectators who were perched there.
Through the tunnel they went, into the bullring, where they felt the more familiar sand of the arena under their hooves. Five of the fighting bulls went straight into the corral, followed by the tame animals, and finally the last of the herd, the one who slipped on the way in but was obviously keen to see his group beat their record time.