Sue’s Morning Stretch: Run with the bulls, in Chicago

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Always wanted to run with the bulls, but don’t have the cash for a trip to Spain?

Well, here’s your chance. The Great Bull Run comes to town Saturday, July 12, and participants get to run with – er, dodge – 18 full-size bulls locally.

What you’ll really get to do is try to keep up with the 1,500-pound animals for a few seconds as they run a quarter-mile course. Don’t be disappointed; even if you were in Pamplona, you couldn’t keep up with the bulls. They are massive and fast creatures; they run something like 35 miles an hour – how many humans can move at that speed? Think of it as a brief sprint with the bulls. And you get to do it a couple different times.

Organizers promise it’ll be a wild and crazy time. If you don’t think you want to be up close and personal with the bulls, there’s another way to get into the action, the Tomato Royale. Here’s how that works: barrels with tomatoes are set up. Folks race over to grab and squash some (so it’s all injury-free fun) so they can be part of one big, messy tomato food fight. Now doesn’t that sound like a good way to get rid of the stress of the week? And tomatoes are supposed to keep your hair shiny (although not sure if getting them lobbed at you counts).

To participate, you must be 14 or older. During the Tomato Royale you’ll be wearing protective eyewear (sounds sensible; all that acidity near the eyeball could get painful).

Tickets are discounted online through Wednesday, July 9. Buy them here (there are a variety of different options).The Great Bull Run will be at Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie, Cicero.

— Sue Ontiveros

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