WASHINGTON — Have you ever wanted to run with the bulls but can’t make it to Spain? You might get a chance to and at a much closer location.
Rob Dickens is the brains behind the “Great Bull Run” that will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Va.
It’s a spin-off of the running of the bulls in Pamplona. And he says it’s an all- day event and celebration.
“We’re on pace to have 5,000 runners there. But that doesn’t include spectators,” says Dickens. He says there could be up to 3,000 on hand to witness the inaugural “Great Bull Run,” one in a series of bull runs to be held across the country.
Dickens says 10 cities are lined up to date, but more dates could be added in the future. For the current dates and ten cities, “We have about 20,000 people (to run with the bulls) signed up nationwide,” he says.
The Virginia event, he says, will have three separate running events. The first will begin at 11 a.m., the second at noon and the third at 1 p.m. Dickens adds that, just like they do in Spain, there will be a ginormous tomato fight afterwards. “Tomato Royale, where 4,000 people will be throwing tomatoes at each other,” he says.
But if running alongside a 1,000-pound animal isn’t for you, you can pay $10 to be a spectator. Forty percent of those who have signed up to run with the bulls are women, Dickens says.
Of course, this event won’t be exactly like the running of the bulls in Spain. After Pamplona’s running of the bulls, they kill the animals in a bull fight, but that will not be the case at the U.S. events.
In fact, he says, there is a veterinarian on site at all times to make sure the bulls are healthy and are treated properly.