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American gored at Pamplona bull run promises to run again

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/8/2017 By JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press
A revellers falls in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press A revellers falls in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — One of the two Americans gored Saturday during this year's second running of the bulls in the Spanish city of Pamplona is swearing that he will run again before the festival is over.

Bill Hillmann, a 35-year-old American from Chicago lying in a hospital bed shows a photo of himself that someone sent to him during a bull run a day before he was gored at the San Fermin bull running Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Hillmann was in stable condition after televised images showed a bull thrusting its horn into a man's buttocks before flipping him into the street.Two Americans were gored and several other people were injured Saturday during the second running of the bulls at this year's San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, officials said.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Bill Hillmann, a 35-year-old American from Chicago lying in a hospital bed shows a photo of himself that someone sent to him during a bull run a day before he was gored at the San Fermin bull running Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Hillmann was in stable condition after televised images showed a bull thrusting its horn into a man's buttocks before flipping him into the street.Two Americans were gored and several other people were injured Saturday during the second running of the bulls at this year's San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, officials said.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Bill Hillmann, a 35-year-old writer who also was gored three years ago at the San Fermin festival, was in stable condition. The bull that led the pack thrust its horn into Hillmann's buttocks before flipping him onto the street.

Bill Hillmann, 35-year-old American from Chicago lies in a hospital bed after being gored at the San Fermin bull running Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Hillmann was in stable condition after televised images showed a bull thrusting its horn into a man's buttocks before flipping him into the street. Two Americans were gored and several other people were injured Saturday during the second running of the bulls at this year's San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, officials said.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Bill Hillmann, 35-year-old American from Chicago lies in a hospital bed after being gored at the San Fermin bull running Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Hillmann was in stable condition after televised images showed a bull thrusting its horn into a man's buttocks before flipping him into the street. Two Americans were gored and several other people were injured Saturday during the second running of the bulls at this year's San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, officials said.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

"In a split second he was on me. I tried to jump, but he hit me in the butt," the Chicago resident told The Associated Press by telephone from a hospital in Pamplona.

Bill Hillmann, a 35-year-old American from Chicago lies in a hospital bed after being gored at the San Fermin bull running Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Hillmann was in stable condition after televised images showed a bull thrusting its horn into a man's buttocks before flipping him into the street. Two Americans were gored and several other people were injured Saturday during the second running of the bulls at this year's San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, officials said.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Bill Hillmann, a 35-year-old American from Chicago lies in a hospital bed after being gored at the San Fermin bull running Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Hillmann was in stable condition after televised images showed a bull thrusting its horn into a man's buttocks before flipping him into the street. Two Americans were gored and several other people were injured Saturday during the second running of the bulls at this year's San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, officials said.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

"I flew up in the air and landed on my back. I didn't know I was gored at first," he said. "Then people started telling me I was gored and pulled me over to the medics. I pulled down my pants and there was blood."

A reveller falls in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press A reveller falls in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Despite his run-in, Hillmann says his love for the chaotic and treacherous spectacle of Pamplona's rampaging bulls hasn't wavered.

Revellers run in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Revellers run in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

"I am probably going to run tomorrow or the next day, sure at this festival," he said. "I am already walking. The first time, I wasn't walking for a week."

Revellers run in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Revellers run in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Hillmann's wound was less severe than those of a 22-year-old American who also was gored on Saturday. Identified by the regional government of Navarra only with the initials J.C., he was in serious condition after his left arm was impaled and he was dragged for several meters (yards) before the bull flung him off and stormed over him.

A revellers falls in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press A revellers falls in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Three other Americans, two Frenchmen and three Spaniards — all men — needed hospital treatment for injures received during Saturday's frantic and crowded run of thrill-seekers. Two Americans and a Spaniard also were gored on Friday.

A reveller sleeps while waiting for the start of the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press A reveller sleeps while waiting for the start of the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Hillmann was in Pamplona for a 12th consecutive year to brave the bulls and ran on Friday.

Revellers run in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Revellers run in front of Jose Escolar fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

He was gored in the early stages of the run, when the bulls from the ranch of Jose Escolar confirmed their reputation as being unpredictable.

The bulls completed the 930-yard (850-meter) cobbled-street course in just over four minutes — well over the average of three minutes — because one bull broke away from the rest and turned around.

The other five plowed into the slower-moving crowds, knocking many runners down as they maneuvered through the narrow streets and wooden barricades.

Hillmann described this second goring as "just a tick" compared to his first one in 2014, which produced two thigh wounds he called "traumatic."

Hillmann, like scores of foreigners, discovered the San Fermin festival thanks to Nobel Literature laureate Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."

"It changed my life. It made me want to be a writer, to run the bulls, to come to Spain," he said. "When I got here everything in the book was still here, but a thousand times more. And it just keeps getting more interesting. People think this is just crazy people running. There is real art. If you pay attention, you can see it."

Hillmann claims to have participated in over 300 bull runs across Spain at traditional summer festivals. He has written a guide on bull running, along with a novel, and was back in Pamplona to make a documentary featuring him as a bull runner.

"The thing is that when you run, you always have doubts because you are taking a decision that can end your life," he said. "There is a shadow that follows you. Sometimes I don't run because I don't feel right. I usually get premonitions. Not today. I felt good today, but it didn't go my way."

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