Bull Running How-To Author Gored in Pamplona

The sun also rises. So does Bill Hillmann.

The 32-year-old Hillmann, who co-authored Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona, did just that yesterday. The Chicago bull-running enthusiast, dressed in customary white, encountered the biggest bovine in the lot on his jaunt. Hillmann tripped in the wild scrum. The big bull gored him twice as punishment for his clumsiness.

Hillmann remains hospitalized in stable condition as of this posting.

“As I was moving up the street with him, another guy behind me was panicking,” Hillmann told Deadspin. “I tripped on him, and another guy behind me pushed me in the back. I fell, and when I fell, the bull swung his horns into my thigh and sort of lifted me and tossed me, and the horn went all the way through one side and poked out the other. In that motion, I kind of floated up and then fell off the horns.”

The former Golden Gloves champion boxer described the actual goring, which created a “raquet-ball size” hole in his leg, as a “painless” sensation. Before the mishap, a co-author described him as the “best young English-speaking bull-runner on the streets today.”

“In a mere half mile, 800-odd metres—sometimes run in less than two minutes by the cattle, sometimes terrifyingly, agonisingly, longer, should they separate and become dangerous as only a suelto, a ‘loose’ bull can be—this city defines itself,” Alexander Fiske-Harrison writes in the book’s introduction. He advises readers thinking about journeying to Pamplona, “[I]f you want to guarantee you’ll survive running the bulls, stay off the street and watch it from a balcony.”

Photo credit: Mikel Ciaurriz, Sanfermin.com


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