My parents cluck their tongues. My fiancee rolls her eyes. Everyone else looks at me as though I’ve lost my mind. A few of them can understand why someone might run with the bulls once. But why someone would run with the bulls multiple times—three years in a row, in my case—is beyond them.
And yet on the morning of July 7, at five minutes to eight, I will once again find myself halfway up Pamplona’s Calle Estafeta, among thousands of others clad in the traditional red and white of the city’s famous fiesta, awaiting the moment when several tonnes of Spanish fighting bull, or toro bravo, will plough through the teeming throng towards me.
There are as many reasons for returning to the cobblestones as there are men—and a few very impressive women—who do it. My own run the gamut.