This December 7 in Baytown at the Royal Purple Speedway, you can run in sheer, pants-shitting terror from raging bulls just like they do in Pamplona, Spain, each summer.
The Great Bull Run's organizers urge participants to "grab life by the horns and experience the rush of a lifetime as you sprint down a quarter-mile track with 12 1,000-pound bulls hot on your heels," which sounds like a horrific nightmare.
Or the most awesome thing ever.
If you aren't up for being possibly gored, maimed, paralyzed or made dead by a half-ton bull, you can participate in the Tomato Royale, a giant tomato fight.
The GBR is happening in nine locations across the country, from San Francisco to Virginia.
Entry into the GBR starts out at $50 and ramps up to $120 in the days leading up to the run. There are a total of eight runs to choose from, and paid entry into the run gets you a bandanna, a shirt, a free beer, and access to the Tomato Royale and the adjoining all-day festival.
You can find the GBR here on Facebook; show your friends you have a death wish.
The GBR site comes with a hefty waiver of liability to peruse for the next few months with friends, family and your legal counsel. As far as injuries go, it's like a Golden Corral buffet of blood, guts and tears.
Minor injuries are common and include, but are not limited to, scrapes, bruises, sprains, nausea and cuts. Serious injuries are less common, but do sometimes occur. They include but are not limited to, property loss or damage, broken bones, torn ligaments, concussions, deep lacerations or puncture wounds, exposure, heat....
Catastrophic injuries are rare; however, participants should be aware of the possibility that such an injury can occur at the event. These injuries can include permanent disabilities, damage to internal organs, spinal injuries and paralysis, stroke, heart attack and death.
What you are asking about now, besides how painful being gored in the ass could be, is how the bulls are treated. Here is what the GBR FAQ has to say:
Unlike the running of the bulls in Spain, our bulls are not killed in a bullfight after the run, nor are they abused in order to make them run. Our bulls are trained to be accustomed to large crowds and to run the course without physical provocation, though there will be cowboys on horses behind them to herd any strays that get turned around. We take every measure to ensure the bulls are properly cared for and uninjured during the run. That's why we have a large animal veterinarian onsite at all times to monitor the health and treatment of the bulls. When the bulls aren't on site for a run, they're back at a free-range farm where they live in open fields. We here at The Great Bull Run are wholly committed to the health and safety of the animals we work with and we welcome any constructive comments or suggestions on animal welfare.
There are of course more rules for runners to follow, per the FAQ.
Don't hit, slap, harass or mistreat the bulls in any way.
Don't drink any alcohol before running.
I would prefer to be hammered for this, so if I get gored I can bleed out faster, for dramatic effect, really.
Don't intentionally impede the progress of the bulls or other runners.
Some stupid is going to attempt to push you into a bull. This is Baytown, after all.
Don't carry anything while running.
Well, dang, I was on Amazon looking for cattle prods.
Runners must wear appropriate clothing for running and closed-toe footwear.
With bulls attempting to trample you, it is a good idea to leave the cowboy boots and skinny jeans at home.
The track is a one-way street. Don't stop or go backwards.
Sure! Run directly into the bulls.
Once you exit the track, you can't re-enter for any reason.
Because you just want to re-enter the fracas.
If you fall down, stay down and cover your head until the bulls pass. This isn't guaranteed to protect you, but it's your best chance of avoiding a serious injury.
This is the scariest rule, quite honestly. Just cover your head and hope for the best. That's actually just good advice for life.
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