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Watch: Lots of falls but no injuries during a thrilling Running of the Bulls

Day 5 of the world-famous Sanfermines fiestas saw animals from the Núñez del Cuvillo take to the streets of the northern Spanish city of Pamplona this morning

Day 5 of the Running of the Bulls. AFP

Finally, an exciting run – and by that, I mean nearly three minutes packed with falls (both of the bulls and the runners), tramplings, and, fortunately, hardly any injuries – just three people with bruises to the arms, legs and face, left behind in the wake of the bulls from the Núñez del Cuvillo stockbreeder.

Finally, we saw that there are bulls that run faster than the steers this year, the latter having led the runs through the entire route every day so far at these Sanfermines, entering the bullring victorious ahead of the true protagonists of the morning.

Today, the fifth day of the 2018 Running of the Bulls, was different, and a golden-colored bull was the first to enter the bullring, just after the two-minute mark. After taking a little detour around the edge of the ring, and realizing that he wasn’t in his much-desired meadow, he rejoined the herd and they ran together into the pen.

It’s hard to explain just how there could be such a happy ending given that the run looked so fast and violent right from the start

That could have been the end of the encierro, were it not for the late arrival of Gavilán, one of the fighting bulls, who had slipped and fallen at the end of the Telefónica section, requiring the help of some of the more experienced runners – one of whom pulled on his tail – in order to get his 520 kilos of weight back on four hooves.

By the time Gavilán had found his way into the pen, the clock was showing two minutes and 50 seconds, breaking with tradition, given that with these bulls, they say that once the two-minute, forty-second mark has passed, it’s because there have been injuries. Fortunately, today, that wasn’t the case.

It’s hard to explain, however, just how there could be such a happy ending given that the run looked so fast and violent right from the start.

A black bull was competing with a steer to take the lead as the animals thundered up Cuesta de Santo Domingo, and swept away the runners on the right-hand side of the street, leaving a number of blows and bumps in their wake.

Another of the bulls broke away from the herd and reached the dangerous Estafeta bend at top speed, colliding with a number of runners who, inexplicably given the danger, were on the left-hand side of the street, the place where the animals often come crashing into the wall given their inertia at that point of the run.

But a few miracles took place this morning: one of the runners got a hoof to the head, and another felt a horn lightly graze the back of his neck. Both escaped injury.

The golden bull continued his solo run up Estafeta, accompanied by crowds of runners. The animal had time to slip and fall, but he got straight back up and entered the bullring first, and alone.

Just a few meters behind was the rest of the herd, and just before they entered the ring three bulls took a tumble among small piles of runners. That was where the straggler Gavilán ended up, the bull who couldn’t get his 520-kilo frame back up and needed a tug on his tail to get the job done.

For the love of God, a Cuvillo fighting bull, so noble and artistic, flailing around on the floor – how unseemly…

English version by Simon Hunter.

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