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Ready for run!

Thousands test their bravery and speed by dashing along fighting bulls in Pamplona

Eleven men have so far been gored and 14 others taken to hospital suffering other injuries as thousands of thrill-seekers dash alongside the beasts in the bull runs of the week-long San Fermin festival in Pamplona.

Many Spanish towns hold festivals involving bulls during the summer. San Fermin is the most famous internationally and attracts thousands of revellers, many from abroad.

During the festival in the northern Spanish city, bulls chase runners in red scarves through the streets.

The nationally-televised 8am run sees people racing with six bulls, each weighing some 500 kilograms, as they steer along a narrow 850-metre course from a holding pen to the city bull ring. The bulls are then killed by professional matadors in bullfights each afternoon.

Fuente Ymbro fighting bull runs over a reveller. Photo: Andres Kudacki/AP Photo. Right: Zaldikos (men wearing horse figures) joke with each other in San Fermin festival’s Comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos (Parade of the Giants and the Big Heads) in Pamplona. Photo: Vincent West/ReutersFuente Ymbro fighting bull runs over a reveller. Photo: Andres Kudacki/AP Photo. Right: Zaldikos (men wearing horse figures) joke with each other in San Fermin festival’s Comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos (Parade of the Giants and the Big Heads) in Pamplona. Photo: Vincent West/Reuters

Each bull run usually lasts between three and five minutes. There are eight runs in total.

The nine-day fiesta in Pamplona, which features 24-hour street partying, was made famous in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises and attracts thousands of tourists.

Bull runs are a traditional part of summer festivals across Spain. Dozens are injured each year, mostly in falls.

Two men died recently after being gored by bulls in Spanish festivals - one last Saturday in the eastern town of Grao de Castellon and another on June 24 in the south-western town of Coria.

In all, 15 people have died from gorings in Pamplona since record-keeping began in 1924 for the San Fermin festival.

The nine-day fiesta in Pamplona, which features 24-hour street partying, was made famous in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises and attracts thousands of foreign tourists.

The festival ends tomorrow.

Kilikis help each other dress during the Comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos. Photo: Vincent West/ReutersKilikis help each other dress during the Comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos. Photo: Vincent West/Reuters
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