CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — A Chicago author was gored Wednesday during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
Bill Hillmann is a veteran bull-runner who co-authored the book “Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls Of Pamplona,” and has written several articles titled “How to Run With the Bulls” for Outside Magazine. He survived his goring, but was being treated for injuries to his right thigh.
Among the tips Hillmann provided for bull-runners: “Get an arm’s length away from the wall,” “keep your head on a swivel,” and “run like you’ve never run before.”
Hillmann, 32, was gored twice in his right thigh on Wednesday after talking a spill in Pamplona. A Spaniard also was gored during Wednesday’s run.
Hillman says the wound is about the size of his fist. The bull’s horn a vital artery.
“If that artery would have been severed I exactly would have bled to death pretty quickly and I might not be talking to you right now.”
A 35-year-old Spaniard who was gored Wednesday was in serious condition after he was gored in the chest, according to a statement from the Navarra regional government in Spain.
Three other Spaniards who fell during the run were being treated in Pamplona hospitals for their injuries.
The Spanish government only identified Hillmann as an American with the initials “B.H.,” but co-author Alexander Fiske-Harrison fully identified Hillmann on his blog.
Fiske-Harrison, a British journalist who co-authored “Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls Of Pamplona” with Hillmann, said Hillmann was undergoing surgery on Wednesday, “but seemed okay, indeed happy given the amount of pain killers he was on.”
It wasn’t the first problem Hillmann had on his latest trip to Pamplona. Three days ago, he posted on his Facebook page that he’d lost his passport, laptop, medication, and Gohonzon, a Buddhist object of devotion, usually in the form of a scroll.
A familiar face in Chicago’s literature scene, Hillman’s most recent book, “The Old Neighborhood,” was published by Curbside Splendor in April. Set on the North Side, “The Old Neighborhood” is a coming-of-age story that tackles urban crime and race from a distinctly Chicago point of view.
Several thousand people, many dressed in the traditional white with red neckerchiefs, took part in the nationally televised 8 a.m. run in which they race six fighting bulls and accompanying steer along a 930-yard (850-meter) course from a holding pen to Pamplona’s bull ring. The race is part of the the festival of San Fermin, which takes place every July and is in honor of Saint Fermin, the co-patron of Navarre, Spain.
Hillman was gored at the Telefonica stretch, a particularly dangerous part of San Fermin’s Running of the Bulls, after a bull got separated from the pack. According to Sanfermin.com, the danger of the Telefonica stretch “is increased by the presence of inexpert runners and by the change in the pace of the bulls. This stretch turns progressively towards the left until it goes straight down into the final stretch leading into the bull ring. Here the bulls quicken up but the runners in front generally don’t have time to do it with the same rapidness. This creates dangerous situations and the statistics reveal a high level of incidents on this stretch of the run.”
Fifteen people have died from gorings since record-keeping began in 1924, three of them at the Telefonica stretch. Dozens of people are injured each year in the runs, most of them in falls.
The bulls are invariably killed in afternoon bullfights.
The nine-day street party was immortalized in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises” and attracts thousands of foreign tourists every year.
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