Running of the bulls coming to Dinwiddie County - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Running of the bulls coming to Dinwiddie County

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Mike Valerio demonstrates how to run from the bulls in style Mike Valerio demonstrates how to run from the bulls in style
DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) -

It's a tradition that happens every year in Pamplona, Spain – the running of the bulls, as thousands risk death to take part in an event watched around the world.

Now, the experience is headed to Dinwiddie County, thanks to a company bringing bull racing to America.

The company, known as The Great Bull Run, announced its first race will be held at the Virginia Motorsports Park Aug. 24. The event will then travel from Dinwiddie to Atlanta, wrapping up in July 2014 in Chicago.

Up to 20,000 people are expected to attend, as bulls weighing 600 lbs. charge down the racetrack. Twelve bulls will be released, running in hourly waves with up to 1,500 people in each wave.

According to the company, there is a mandatory insurance fee to participate, and medical staff will be on site. Organizers guide people through the course before the bulls are released, explaining rules and safety procedures.

Runners who want to take a greater risk start in the center of the track, where bulls are more likely to run. Cautious participants stay close to the fences, near nooks where they can take cover.

A section of The Great Bull Run's website explains the company uses less aggressive bulls than the ones found in Pamplona, but the risks of the event are still real.

"By participating in the run, you accept the risk that you might be trampled, gored, rammed or tossed in the air by a bull, or bumped, jostled, tripped or trampled by your fellow runners," the website reads. "Make no mistake: you could get seriously injured in this event. That's why there's a mandatory insurance fee during the registration process and medical staff on site."

In the 102 year history of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, 15 people have died. Around 200 people are trampled every year, or experience other injuries.

The chances of outrunning the animals are slim – bulls run on average a four minute mile.

If the run sounds too dangerous, spectators can sign up for the "Tomato Royale" portion of the event, a giant tomato fight mimicking the Tomatina festival held every summer in Buñol, Spain.

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