Crazy? Brave? Drunk? What drives Pamplona's bull runners?
July 9, 2013 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
- Running of the Bulls in Pamplona has attracted more tourists in recent years
- Event generates enormous publicity for Pamplona
- Four people injured on first day of this year's bull run
(CNN) -- Some call it courage, others madness.
Still others attribute it just to excessive alcohol.
Whatever their motivation, thousands of daredevils from across the globe were on the streets of Pamplona, Spain, on Sunday testing their nerve by sprinting through the city streets in front of six huge, charging bulls.
Risking injury at the horns of a frantic, three-quarter-ton creature may not sound like everyone's idea of a pleasant vacation.
At 8 a.m. sharp, rockets are fired to signal the start of the Bull Run. Six fighting bulls are released from their pen. Humans and bulls then begin a mad race through the cobbled streets of Pamplona, ending up in the central bull ring.
La Pamplona Gallery
Yet the legendary, centuries-old Running of the Bulls in Pamplona -- part of the annual San Fermín Festival -- has attracted more and more tourists to this small, northern Spanish city in recent years.
What's the attraction?
There's no longer a practical need to herd the bulls through the city streets to the bull ring in the center of town.
The frenetic race is maintained because it's fantastic publicity for Pamplona, as well as one of the world's most memorable tests of bravery and agility.
Amazing and scary
So, what's your chance of injury?
Not as high as the fearful-looking contest might suggest.
On the first day of this year's bull run, among the thousands of runners, only four were treated for injuries.
But maybe they're counting themselves lucky, showing off their bruises as a mark of courage.
After all, it's a sign they almost certainly weren't hiding in a doorway as the bulls thundered past.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 16, 2014 -- Updated 2326 GMT (0726 HKT)
Take a trip to the Chinese town that has more relics than people.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 1742 GMT (0142 HKT)
You know about reggae and Usain Bolt -- but you probably aren't aware of these other Jamaican superlatives.
November 14, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
Artist creates brilliant tribute to Dutch impressionist painter -- a cycle route that glows in the dark
November 14, 2014 -- Updated 0633 GMT (1433 HKT)
European airlines beware: These 320kph trains are upping the travel game with roomy seats and onboard wi-fi.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 1053 GMT (1853 HKT)
For such a relatively small collection of islands, the UK packs in an phenomenal range of beautiful scenery.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2237 GMT (0637 HKT)
Rovos Rail's epic trips out of South Africa pamper passengers with fine dining, vintage comfort and even a bathtub.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0137 GMT (0937 HKT)
Self-taught Iranian photographer gains rare access to shoot religious buildings as they've never been seen.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
The subject of erotica has a way of making people uncomfortable.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 0037 GMT (0837 HKT)
UK's Heathrow Airport pairs destinations with fragrances to evoke long distance travel. We do too.
November 6, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
Bumper cars, a freefall simulator and robot bartenders are just a few of the cool features on Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas.
November 2, 2014 -- Updated 2258 GMT (0658 HKT)
Up in the mountains and across deep chasms, these bridges are both spectacular and terrifying.