From Richard Milz via the Chicago Tribune
About 1,000 people have signed up to sprint alongside a stampede of bulls when a U.S. version of the famous Spanish tradition comes to the Chicago area next July.
The Great Bull Run, modeled after the festival that takes place each year in Pamplona, Spain, will hold its inaugural run next month in Richmond, Va., and will hit at least eight other cities before arriving at Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney on July 12.
Organizer Bradford Scudder decided to create the U.S.-based event to give thrill-seekers a chance to run with bulls without having to spend the time and money to fly to Spain.
For a fee starting at $35 , participants can enjoy a bull run followed by a rotten tomato fight, another Spanish tradition.
The Great Bull Run website warns participants that the race is “the real deal” and that participants “accept the risk that you might be trampled, gored, rammed or tossed in the air by a bull.” Participants must pay an insurance fee, and medical staff will be at the site.
To minimize risk, organizers said they will use less aggressive bulls than the ones that run in Spain.
Animal rights advocates have called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate whether the organizers are properly licensed.
“These events are a shameful example of cruelty for the sake of nothing more than entertainment and profit,” said Ann Chynoweth, senior director of The Humane Society of the United States’ End Animal Cruelty and Fighting campaign.