Deaf daredevil a regular at Spanish bull run

13th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

For over a decade Sergio Colas has run with charging bulls in Pamplona's San Fermin festival and escaped serious injury -- no mean feat since he is deaf.

The 30-year-old said he can feel the vibrations of the firecracker that is set off to signal that the half-tonne bulls have been released from a corral in the northern Spanish town.

Then he senses the pounding hoofs of six bulls and six steers as they approach along the the 846.6-metre route through Pamplona's cobbled streets to the bullring.

Not hearing the animals as he runs ahead of their horns means he has to keep looking over his shoulder.

Colas, who was born deaf and works at the local Volkswagen car plant, fell during Wednesday's run but did not need medical care.

"There were many people grabbing each other and in the end I fell on the street," he said after the run through an interpreter, his girlfriend Isabel Orzaiz Aldave.

His closest call came last year when a bull's horns scraped his back as he raced ahead of it.

Photos taken that day show Colas looking straight ahead as he ran right in front of the bull, whose head was slightly lowered and one of its horns touching his back, as other runners look sideways at him.

"The only thing I thought of at that moment was that I could not lose my balance if I wanted to get away unharmed," he said before lifting his t-shirt outside of a bar in Pamplona's historic centre to reveal the long, thin scratch mark left on his back by the thrust of the bull's horn.

© 2011 AFP

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