Running of the Bulls - Mesquite, Nevadain Mesquite, NV, USA
Running of the Bulls - Mesquite, Nevada
Pepe, you're not in Pamplona anymore. Now America has its own Running of the Bulls, thanks to Phil Immordino who staged the first bullish street chase in July of 1998. "It's like Pamplona in that it's bulls running down a road and people running in front of them," Immordino says, "but the bulls are different. The bulls in Spain are trained to kill Matadors. Ours are regular rodeo bulls." Then he laughs. "Now that's not to say a 1200-pound rodeo bull on your heels isn't scary as hell."
For safety, there are escape routes every 100 feet as well as a 6-foot fence, which runners can easily leap over should they feel the breath of a bull. There are also rodeo clowns on hand who are experienced in luring a bulls attention away from runners who just don't cut the mustard.
Immordino hosts four races throughout the weekend, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. He's averaged over 300 runners for each race, pulling in $50 a runner. That translates into a nice little, well, cash cow for Immordino, $60,000 in two days.
But the question is: can you put a price on such balsy, semi life-threatening experience? Testimonials on their website boast, "The rush of my life!" and "I cheated death!" And even if you don't want to run, hell it's a rush just watching. And that part is free. Over 8,000 spectators show up to cheer on the runners and enjoy live music, food, drink or maybe have a go at a mechanical bull. (Although the Running of the Bulls has been held in Mesquite, NV for the last several years, Immordino is looking for a new city to host the event sometime during the spring.)
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