Guido was rummaging in the attic last weekend and found his old blood spattered pañuelo and faja (the sash and neckerchief worn by the runners in Pamplona). This week is the festival of San Fermin and the news this morning that a runner was gored to death made Guido feel a bit misty-eyed. The second week of July every year for a decade from Guido’s mid-twenties to his mid-thirties would see him in Pamplona doing the run, usually with his brother or friends. As a veteran of some 30 runs it is fair to say it was an adrenaline addiction – partying all night and running for your life in the morning. Hangovers clear fast when you hear the rocket fired that signals the release of the bulls.
In a sterile world of safety belts, safety helmets and safety nazis, the Pamplona bull run is a glorious celebration of the irrational side of the human spirit. They say that an old man who has not risked his life for his country feels less of a man than an old soldier, so to have never risked your life must be far worse. To risk your life makes you feel more alive. Guido prays the cloak of San Fermin will protect los corredores who will run this week and wishes he was with them. May God have mercy on the soul of the corredor who so vicerally lost his life: Saludo!