July 10, 2004
The Running of the Bulls will return to Scottsdale this fall.
Styled after the famous 400-year-old event in Pamplona, Spain, Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse announced Friday it plans to again host the three-day event in October.
Phoenix promoter Phil Immodino, who brought the event to Rawhide initially in 2002, said he was unable to stage the event last year because he couldn’t come up with a $5 million insurance policy required by Rawhide.
"I have secured the insurance and we have an agreement with Rawhide," Immodino said. "Now we are in the process of working with sponsors."
The event, which drew 1,000 runners and 10,000 spectators in 2002, will be held Oct. 1-3.
During that running there were only a few minor injuries, Immodino said, but the American version is not as dangerous as the event in Spain.
"The bulls in Spain are bred for bull fighting, where these bulls are bred for rodeo," Immodino said. "Being run over by a fellow participant is more likely to happen than being gored by a bull."
Participants will run a one-third-mile desert track while being chased by 20 half-ton bulls. The course follows a 14- to 25-foot path enclosed by a 6-foot steel pipe fence.
Safety precautions to protect the bulls and runners will be incorporated in the event, Rawhide spokeswoman Sandy Staples-Trudel said. Escape exits for runners will be located every 100 feet and professional rodeo cowboys will act as escorts. Emergency medical treatment will also be available.
Alcohol and drug use are prohibited prior to the runs, Immodino said.
"If anyone looks like they’re tipsy, we’re going to throw them out."
Immodino staged the first American bull-running events in 1998 and 1999 in Mesquite, Nev.
"People are always asking me why anyone would want to be chased by bulls," Immodino said. "It’s for an adrenaline rush. The same reason someone would jump out of a plane and bungee jumping. It’s an opportunity for people to do something they haven’t done before