A Life Less Ordinary

A living avalanche made of muscle and bone and sinew and horn. It weighs in at more than a thousand pounds, and yet is still not the largest of its species. Indeed there are six more following that are even more massive, though thankfully they are less aggressive. No, it is this creature that has my attention. He is one of six that make up the first wave, and fill the hearts of so many with fear. Bred for the ring; for speed and for strength, it will charge at any large moving object just as it has been reared to do. It offers me no comfort that it considers me more than large enough to be it’s next target. And like never before, I find myself giving deep consideration to the horns on an animal.

Fighting this beast is clearly out of the question, so like Indiana Jones before the boulder, I will run. I will run for my very life. And this time, there will be no pause button, no extra lives, no continues… just the race, and the frantic headlong rush to survive.


The Running of the Bulls (known locally as encierro) takes place every July in the Basque city of Pamplona, as part of the festival of Sanfermines. A tradition for centuries, it was brought to international attention by Ernest Hemingway in his book The Sun Also Rises. And this, perhaps more than anything else, has turned the event from something enjoyed by a handful of locals, into a spectacle involving many hundreds of runners from all around the world. But regardless of where they’re from, they all come seeking to test their nerve, and their speed, against Spain’s proud bulls.

The event is dangerous. Every year between 200 and 300 people are injured during the run, and since 1910, 14 people have been killed in Pamplona.

This year, numbered amongst the runners, will be this Ready-Upper.


When I tell people that I intend to run in this year’s encierro. I’m treated to the same look I sometimes get, when I tell someone I like games. It’s a look many of you will be familiar with. The one that seems to say, “There’s a crazy person here! I hope he’s not contagious.” But I suppose that’s to be expected. After all, why would I, or anyone else for that matter, want to put life and limb at risk in this way?

It does set me to thinking though; is there a connection between my love of videogames and my desire to take part in unique, and needlessly dangerous, sports and events?

It seems to me that we each of us, as gamers, make a conscious decision to fill our lives with adventure. We’re everyday thrill-seekers chasing after our dreams and the chance to overcome impossible odds. We refuse to stand still and wait for life to pass us by. Instead we grab every experience that comes our way, be it from the comfort of our sofas and our limitless imaginations, or the ways in which we stretch and challenge ourselves to grow ever stronger. We choose lives less ordinary. And we never regret it.

Perhaps seen in that light, my choice is an obvious one after all.








10 responses to “A Life Less Ordinary”

  1. ZeroMark avatar

    Best of luck with your “Extreme Running”, mixing the relaxing exercise of running, with impending death by bull horn, or hoove.

    In any case, you have delt with tanks in L4D, whats a 1000lbs of bull to you ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Kirsten avatar

    Phew and I’m nervous about jogging round the park! I agree though. I have the adventurer streak and I applaud your decision to chase the dream.


    What a nutter!

  3. Jake avatar

    You still have the names of all the applicants for the last job don’t you Kirsten? We might be needing one of them…

  4. DunK avatar

    In reply to Jake’s comment: FIRST! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck Darach! ‘Where Is Our Love Going?’ Pamplona!

  5. Tiq avatar

    Good luck, brother.

    …Crazy fool. :p

  6. Michael avatar

    Good luck to ya man! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Jonah A McDoogl avatar
    Jonah A McDoogl

    Good luck Darach, hope to see you alive at the end of it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Van-Fu avatar

    Hm. You had better make time for the completion of our 7:55 tournament. Before you go. Clearly

  9. MrCuddleswick avatar

    Good luck Skill! Run fast, and do try to not get gored by a bull.

  10. markBOSS avatar

    Im going skydiving this year, thats kinda crazy.

    p.s. are you gona start at the front or the back of the run?

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