From The Last Arena: Back To School

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A fortnight ago I accepted a prize from the most ancient encierros, ‘bull-runs’, in all of Spain, those of the town of Cuéllar.

Earlier that morning I nearly died while running them. The bull in the photo-detail below was suelto – ‘loose’, alone – and faced away from me when I seized what I thought was a chance and tried to run past it in the narrow street.

At the same moment, another runner tried to do exactly the same from the other direction. When we collided, both of us with eyes only on the bull, he was bounced clear to safety while I lost my footing on the slippery street at the very instant the bull caught our movement in its peripheral vision and charged me as I struggled to get upright with my back against the fence.

In this moment – which lasted as infinitely long as all the novelists, journalists and diarists of near-death say it does – I stood so still as to render myself invisible to the bull whose horn points were paused either side of my chest. Read on at The Last Arena here.

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About fiskeharrison

English author and journalist, broadcaster and conservationist. Author of Into The Arena: The World Of The Spanish Bullfight, shortlisted for Sports Book Of The Year 2011. Editor & Co-Author of Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls Of Pamplona. Author of 'The Unbroken', finalist for Le Prix Hemingway 2016
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