PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) --On Saturday, several thousand people intend to run for their lives from bulls at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, much like the famous event in Pamplona, Spain -- unless animal rights activists are able to stop it.
The Great Bull Run is an adrenaline-filled, quarter mile run down a fence-lined track with 20 stampeding bulls mixed in with hundreds of people.
"If I could put it to something, I would say skydiving. I mean, it's something you can't describe unless you do it," participant Sam Patterson said.
The Great Bull Run will be held for the first time at the fairgrounds on Saturday, but animal rights groups are already suing to stop it.
"Our investigators have also seen that the runners will often punch or slap the bulls as they run by. It's also dangerous in that the animals can get entangled in each other and fall and break a leg," Animal Legal Defense Fund's Matthew Liebman said.
The event organizer, Rob Dickens, said the animals are treated more humanely than the bulls used in Pamplona, Spain, where they often times fall on the cobblestone streets.
"We use the same bulls at every single event nationwide and we've never had a single injury to any of our bulls," Dickens said.
Dickens is expecting 3,000 runners to pay $75 each and said the bulls will be running on a dirt track.
"The veterinarians that we've consulted say it's still well within the realm of possibility that an animal can get very seriously hurt. Thankfully that hasn't happened yet," Liebman said.
"They have horse racing out here. They have rodeos all throughout California, and in those events people are on the animals' backs either whipping them or kicking them in the side with metal spurs," Dickens said.
Dickens said that until the animal rights groups can prove in a court of law that rodeos and horse racing is animal abuse, he will continue holding the Great Bull Run.