PETERSBURG - About 4,000 people - dressed in everything from thongs to superhero costumes - dodged 1,000-pound bulls as they sprinted down a quarter-mile dirt track on Saturday in rural Virginia's version of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
It was the first event of what promoters say will be a national, 10-city bull-running tour modeled on the annual Pamplona event.
"I just didn't want to die, to get trampled by bulls and die," said Cat Jones, 22, who works in engineering and travelled from New York City for the run.
"It was a rush ... a shot of adrenalin," she said.
Jones had such a thrill dodging bulls and watching them race by at breakneck speed that she paid $30 to run again in the afternoon.
The first six runs were conducted with about 500 runners each, chased by 12 bulls, and the last run featured 24 bulls chasing about 700 runners.
About 8,000 people came to watch the runs, said Rob Dickens, co-founder and chief operating officer of the Boston-based Great Bull Run. Most of those who signed up were 18 to 40 years old, and about 40 per cent were women.
Two runners were taken to the hospital with concussion-like symptoms, according to Great Bull Run. One other runner saw a medic after being knocked down and stepped on by other participants.
Every participant in the race had to sign a waiver, absolving the organizers of liability in case of injury.