Running of the Bulls coming to Baytown, draws controversy

June 26, 2013 8:09:35 AM PDT
You see the video every year: People coming from all over the world to Spain, risking life and limb to run from angry bulls. But can you imagine Texans doing the same in Baytown? Believe it or not, there's a similar event being planned.

Elisa Campos is taking part in The Great Bull Run, an event designed to give Americans a taste of the annual Pamplona, Spain event, during which the bulls run loose through streets filled with people.

"I don't have any time and money to go over to Pamplona. So when I heard about this run, right away I'm like, I like to run," Campos said.

This December, a dozen bulls and potentially thousands of participants and spectators will descend on the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown. The race track will be redesigned to add twists and turns, and Campos will be in the mix, running alongside the thousand-pound animals.

"I never looked at it as dangerous sport. I guess it turned into that, because it is, obviously. Bulls run 15 miles an hour," Campos said.

The bulls that run here will come from a California ranch that raises bulls for rodeos and they will run on a quarter-mile dirt track. Participants have to sign waivers acknowledging the risk of serious injury.

The event creator, Rob Dickens, admits they could be trampled or gored.

"This is a dangerous event and I do expect people to get hurt," Dickens said. "You know that when you run with the bulls, that there is inherent danger to it. But that is what draws people to it."

As for Campos, she is ready, and that risk is part of the thrill.

"I think it's going to be exciting," she said.

Animal rights advocates say the event is cruel to the animals, but the track's management says the event is 100 percent humane.

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