Belfast Telegraph

I'll be back, says bullish Kayleigh after being knocked out amid the madness of Pamplona festival run

By Rebecca Black

A Co Armagh woman left concussed after taking part in the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona in Spain has vowed to return to the event next year.

Kayleigh McManus (28) from Portadown was knocked unconscious after colliding with another runner on Sunday and crashing to the ground.

She was taken to hospital with a head injury and had a neck brace fitted after being examined.

The red-headed tour guide was already laughing and joking with friends soon after being seen by doctors.

Ms McManus arrived in the northern Spanish town of Pamplona on July 4 where the nine-day festival takes place every July and she is due to stay until tomorrow.

The university graduate had been working for an agency as a festival guide.

She fell in the square in front of the town hall near the start of the 850-metre course through Pamplona's old town.

Speaking from hospital before being released around lunchtime on Sunday, she said it had been an incredible adrenaline rush.

"It's the first time I've been to the Running of the Bulls festival but the third time I'd run since it started.

"I've seen it on the television and always wanted to run, it was like a dream for me.

"The shock of the injury hasn't taken away my wish to keep on running.

"The adrenaline is incredible. I feel like I'm on top of a mountain when the run finishes. I'll definitely try and come back next year."

Last night she paid tribute on her Facebook page to the paramedics who took care of her.

She laughed off her injuries, saying she was grand and just worried about getting told off by her parents.

The last of the eight runs took place on Monday morning.

Seven people were injured, including a Spanish 21-year-old and a 26-year-old Australian who were both gored three times by a bull that became separated from the pack.

Their condition was described as serious.

Another 24-year-old Australian was also gored, but was less seriously injured.

Fifteen people have been killed at the annual festival since records began in 1911.

The most recent death was in 2009 when 27-year-old Daniel Jimeno from Madrid was gored in the neck by a bull called Capuchino.

Last year British father-of-one John Bennett (45), from Wolverhampton, was taken to hospital on the first run after being crushed under a pile of people and suffering injuries to his knees. He told afterwards how he was suffocated and feared he would die.

Factfile

The Running of the Bulls festival was made famous by the 1926 Ernest Hemingway novel The Sun Also Rises.

The event involves running in front of a group of bulls (typically a dozen) that have been let loose on sectioned-off streets. Revellers wear red and white.

The most famous running of the bulls is the nine-day festival of Sanfermines in honour of Saint Fermin in Pamplona, although they are held in towns across Spain.

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