We got off the bus and grabbed a baget for breakfast and followed the crowd into the mess of humanity. BUT, we got really turned around and couldn't find the race route. We were starting to get a little panicked when we noticed some familiar sites and found the right road. Brett hopped the fence and I followed, kissed him and we went our separate ways. This was the first time on our trip that we weren't together! and it felt a little weird. But I made my way through the massive crowd to the Arena area. It got really mob-like and kinda scary to get out of the way but I finally found a small area that I could see the race route through the people sitting on the fence. Speaking of people on the fence, I got there at 6:30, 90 minutes before the race was scheduled to start and could hardly find a place to see. People must have been sitting on the 6 foot high fences for hours. I decided that I couldn't move or I would lose my spot so I just planted my feet and stood there until the race started at 8:00am. I updated my FB page a few times as I knew my brother and a few other people were going to be watching live on the Esquire channel, in hopes of seeing Brett.
|Just call him "Brett - Bull Runner"|
This is my view. I ended up cramming my phone between that guy's knees to video during the race.
|Waiting for the race. Glad I brought my Ink N Burn long sleeved top because it was a little cool. Plus, I looked really cute!|
The time passed pretty quickly and the crowd started to get excited. The news crews and cameras were on, police and EMT's were stationed between the two sets of barriers and the air felt alive. Suddenly, we heard a loud firecracker go off, which signaled the start of the race. Eight seconds later, the six bulls and six steers (male bulls that have been castrated so they are more domicile but still HUGE) were released. The bulls are trained to follow the steers so they all stay in somewhat of a group. The crowd pushes forward and we start to see some people jogging on the course. But within a minute, the pace quickens and we see bulls! I couldn't really see the bulls because of the crowd, but I could see their legs and hoofs running by. I also saw a young lady fall against the fence and then the crowd around her stopped running and push up against the fence. I later found out that a bull turned around here and gored a guy in the gut!!! And within 3 minutes, it was all done! The bulls were herded in the arena, the police opened the road and I made my way over to our meeting spot.
I never saw Brett run past me. I knew it would be tough to see him but I had hoped I would get a glimpse to see him. But, looking at the video later, I could pick him out, running past. But I never could have seen him from where I was.
|A view of the crowd post race|
The race from Brett's perspective: Brett started the race about 100 yards from the starting line. He said pretty quickly that the you could hear the bulls running and the bells on the steers ringing loudly. He took off running and ducked around a group of people so he could safely look behind him, to see where the bulls where. He said he looked between two people and all he saw was a huge bull head!!!! He jumped out and ran next to the herd for about 20 seconds or so. He said it was Trula a "every man for himself" situation. He kept hearing the police yelling "uno mas, uno mas" meaning 1 more so he waited for the last bull. --- Turned out for the first time in the history of the run, a bull turned around at the starting line and ran back into the corral! It was actually the top story on the local news, the bull that turned around and they had to put him in a truck and drive him to the arena!---
Anyways, Brett waited about 30 seconds or so for the missing bull but decided to start running as he didn't want to miss out on getting into the arena. Once he got into the arena, he got some pictures and the bulls started being released one at a time for five minutes or so. ( I didn't know that the "party" continued with the bulls inside the arena.) Brett said the other people would run up behind the bull and smack it or pull it's tail so the bull would turn and charge! He started next to the wall for safety but decided it was actually safer to move into the less crowded, center part of the arena where he could move easier. He was charged a few times but ran out of the way! I guess bulls really do dig their hoof into the ground before charging! He did get tripped up a few times by others and skinned up his shin. He stayed in the arena until the last bull finished being displayed and then left to find me.
Meanwhile, like I said, I didn't know that the party continued inside the arena so I was in our meeting area about 100 yards from the arena by 8:15 or so. I just waited there, with a small group of drunk guys. They kept trying to talk to me but as the time kept passing with no sign of Brett, my patience with those guys was wearing thin. One older man named Alfredo told me to leave the area because those "guys want to make you their husband!" but I insisted that I needed to stay where I was so my husband could find me. Alfredo even found me a seat in the nearby bar and asked me to come sit there to wait but I stayed in my spot. The crowd was getting less dense but there was no sign of Brett (who was wearing a purple shirt to stick out from the crowd). I send him a text to let him know I was waiting....no answer. It's 8:30 and our pre-determined "met up here or you've been gored" time was 9:00. I'm not panicking but I do start to wonder what he's doing. I wonder how I would even know if he had been gored? How would I find out where he was if he didn't show up at 9:00?? I send another, more urgent text. It's now 8:45 and I'm really worried. And I look up and there he is, arms wide with a huge smile on his face! I run to him and hug him so hard and just start crying!!! Then I yank him to the bar and introduce him to Alfredo to show him that my husband was safe. Oh and buy him a big beer to celebrate and hear his story!!
We walk and talk and talk some more. He was so happy and excited, it seemed like he was walking on the moon. As we walked around, we noticed the crowd was still pretty heavy but lots of people were sleeping any place that had grass and space! It was so surreal to see and it didn't seem to be any big deal. After all, the city doesn't have enough hotels for the crowd so sleeping in parks is the norm during this festival. But I was glad that we could hop on a bus back to our room, which we did and took a quick nap.
After our rest, we walked around the suburb we were in and grabbed some lunch. Then back to the city center for more partying and crowd watching and souvenirs shopping. We went back to the good Wifi bar and they had dancing going on this evening so we enjoyed some great music and crowd watching. Brett had another workout just trying to get drinks at the bar with the crowd! Back to the hotel for a very, very good dinner at their restaurant (actually nearly all our meals have been really good, every place. and the Wine.....goodness is so good!!!)
Brett had such a good time running that he wanted to go for round two the next day so we decided to do it all again Sunday!