By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Ouch! Revellers crouch for cover as a bull jumps over them to get into the arena
Thousands of thrill-seekers dashed ahead of six fighting bulls in the streets of the northern Spanish city of Pamplona today in the first running of the bulls in this year's San Fermin festival.
Miraculously no one was gored, but one person was hospitalized after falling in the sprint, said Spanish Red Cross spokesman Jose Aldaba. In all, four people needed treatment by medical staff.
The bulls, from the Torrestrella farm, accompanied by six guiding steers charged down the 849 metre course from a pen to the city's bull ring in two minutes and 30 exhilarating seconds.
That's got to hurt! A 'mozo' or runner is painfully flipped over when a young bull catches him with a horn between the legs
Runners, wearing traditional white clothing and red handkerchiefs around their necks, tripped over each other or fell in the mad rush but avoided getting caught out by the charging bulls.
There were some unexpected moments as one of the steers separated from the pack and charged back towards the starting gate, sending runners scattering after they thought their dash was over.
Another steer stopped and laid down on the pavement near the end before eventually being guided into bullring, where the six bulls will take part in the afternoon's bullfight.
Stampede: The fighting bulls charge round a corner on their way to the ring as the runners try to keep up
Hoofed: a reveller winces as he is trampled after falling on the street
'The truth is there were very few people for the first running, so it was quite comfortable,' said 20-year-old Julen Iruzun, who was taking part in his third 'encierro,' the Spanish term for the run.
'That must be one odd steer' Iruzun said about the wandering one, 'but these things happen.'
The runs take place each morning at 8 a.m. and are televised across Spain.
People come from all over the world to test their bravery and enjoy the festival's nonstop street parties which last until July 14.
The festival was immortalized by author Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel 'The Sun Also Rises'.
Taking it easy: Runners are forced to wait while a cow that took a tumble on the cobbled street gets to its feet. Right, locals cheer from their balconies as the the bull run rushes past on the way to the town arena
Steer crazy: The angry animals rampage down the street as festival goers, dressed in traditional red and white, urge them on
A sangria-soaked runner is pressed up against a wall by a bad-tempered bull
At the end of each run, that last around two and a half minutes, the animals are led into the city's bullring
Spain bull running festival gets underway