Last summer I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. I know, you think it is crazy. Last year I felt unchallenged. I was in the middle of a press conference in Philadelphia hyping the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight. When Oscar De La Hoya was asked why as an older and slower boxer who was past his prime he would take on the number one pound for pound boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather, Jr, De La Hoya spoke of the challenge. He wanted to push himself. Challenge himself against the best competition. To feel the passion course through his veins as he prepared and ultimately fought the younger, faster Mayweather. When I left the press conference I felt empty. I remembered the feeling I had when I won the 1983 Delmar Minor Little League Championship with Delmarva Aluminum. And the joy that came with capturing a league title in a recreational league in seventh grade. Champion. There is just something about being a champion.
Now before I get embroiled into too much hyperbole, I realize these trophies mean nothing in the wide world of sport. They are local titles against local-level competition. But what you must recognize is that for an athlete with my skill set that’s about all we can even hope for.
How does this tie into the Running of the Bulls?
I’m glad you asked. Leaving the press conference that day I knew I was out of shape, unathletic and leading a sedentary life. I’m not sure whether I saw a programme on the tele or read an ad, but somehow in that space of time I came across the idea of running with the bulls. The thought of being trampled under the hooves of bovine had me running like I had not run since my senior of of high school. I burned off about 25 pounds in a 4 month period in preparation for the run.
I’ll go into the particulars of the run and my whole trip, which included stops in England, France, Spain, back to France and England, then to Ireland, back to London and home.