by: Tom Regan Updated:
ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - The great Spanish tradition of running with the bulls will unfold at the Georgia International Horse Park Saturday, where thousands will put themselves at risk of injury sharing a quarter mile fenced-in track with dozens of the large animals.
"If you want the maximum danger, you try to get as close as possible without touching them," said Great Bull Run Director Rob Dickens.
Dickens showed Channel 2's Tom Regan the safety features around the track that will allow runners to bail out or climb the fence if they are in danger of getting trampled.
"There's nooks in the fence that allows the runner to escape the path of the bulls," Dickens said.
Dickens said he came up with the idea of the Bull Run after he had difficulty participating in the famed century-old event in Pamplona, Spain.
"For a lot of people it's just impossible to get to Spain. So what we've done is brought a few changes to make it safer to the bulls and a little safer for people," Dickens said.
Dickens said during the last Bull Run in Virginia in August, only two runners suffered minor injuries.
Paramedics will be on location during Saturday's event to provide quick medical attention aide for any injured runner.
Dickens said 3,000 runners have signed up to participate in five waves of bull runs. Four thousand spectators have paid $10 to sit in the grandstands.
The cost of running in the Bull Run is around $60. After the bull runs, there will be a large tomato food fight as well.
Dickens said the bulls are properly treated and disputes claims from animal rights groups that running with humans amounts to cruel treatment.
"It's revenge for the bulls, getting revenge on people for centuries of eating beef," Dickens said.