Running with the Bulls

They say never look a bull in the eye, but what do you do, when you do?

The young Australian guy next to me, who had informed me with pride that he'd booked up thousands on his visa card so he could experience as much of life as possible, turned and said 'No one has died on the course since 1996. They don't mention the ones who die afterwards!' The humor in his voice disguised the anxious feeling the anticipation creates. This emotion can be seen in the faces of all those around. You know the look, it's the one you had when you were a kid and you were waiting for the reaction from your parents after you'd pushed the limits to far. There seems to be lots of bad kids around.

All of a sudden the crowd starts moving and the nervous energy turns into excitement based on fear. There are people everywhere running away from the bulls, but at the same time hoping to get close to them. To be honest, the run down the streets was uneventful for me. The Bulls ran by me, but there was a gap the size of a Hummer between us. But there was hope yet.

At the end of the route the keen runners head into the bullring which is belting with noise from the crowd and full of the crazy runners left. Once in the stadium they release a bull into the runners for around 10 minutes at a time. If you are tough you touch a bull, if you are insane you try to get the bull to hit you and if you are absolutely mad you sit on the ground in front of the gate where the bulls are released. Today I discovered that not only am I tough and insane, but I'm absolutely mad! What brought me to the point where I sat in front of the gate and later positioned myself a metre in front of a bull, looking him straight in the eye, hoping he'll take me on? Being alive!

There was this guy who kept getting right in front of the bull, challenging it to take him on. Eventually the bull decided to show him who was king and picked him up with his hard horns, drove him for thirty meters with so much power that the guys body looked like a question mark, and then finished him off with a powerdrive to the ground! There was a moment of silence where everybody held their breath thinking he may have died. But he was far from dead! Instead of staying down, he bounced into the air like he was on a trampoline and started sprinting around screaming at the top of his lungs with both arms tensing as they were raised in a 'V' for victory. He was alive!

I instantly became attracted to what he had, I wanted to know this feeling. So I positioned myself close to the bull waiting for my chance to challenge this great creature. Seconds later my wish was granted, the bull stopped right in front of me and looked me straight in the eyes. Was I afraid? Yea, but at the same time I wanted it. Then all of a sudden it put the foot down and charged me. I swerved my hips and felt a gust as it just missed me! I slapped it's back hoping this would encourage it to keep it's energy on me, but he decided that I wasn't enough of a challenge for him and ran off in another direction. So today wasn't my day to experience what my fellow mad man had, but still, I was beaming in all parts of my body!

So what do you do when you look a bull in the eye? You challenge it, which makes you feel alive in all your senses!


Check out the youtube clip of this:

Bevan Eyles