A stand-up comedian from Blyth got more than he bargained for when he celebrated his 30th birthday in Pamplona in the company of stampeding bulls.
Kai Humphries was with six friends celebrating his landmark birthday at the famous seven-day Spanish festival of San Fermín, which is most commonly known for The Encierro, or the Running of the Bulls.
The controversial practice involves people running in front of a small group of bulls that have been let loose on a course of sectioned-off streets.
Kai, a former pupil at St Benet Biscop High School in Bedlington, stumbled and fell as he ran with the crowds just moments after the bulls were released by the sound of rockets.
Kai, of Norham Close, Blyth, said: “It’s always been on my ‘bucket list’, I’m a total thrill-seeker.
“But it is beyond a miracle that I didn’t return home in a box.
“It was like one of those bad dreams where you are running away from something but your legs are jelly, except I was wide awake and the monsters were very real.”
Kai, who is set to perform at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, miraculously escaped the ordeal with a grazed elbow and a small bruise on his hip.
He said: “I’ve done sky dives and bungee jumps and as much as those controlled near death experiences show you what it is to be alive, nothing quite gets you all the way to your bones like the unpredictably and genuine risk of running with the bulls.
“I lost my iPhone the night before my run and at the time it was the end of the world. After I ran I am glad to be in a world where that is a problem.
“Nothing will get me down now that I’ve ran with the bulls.”
Fifteen people have been killed since record-keeping began in 1910.
And animal rights activists protest against the tradition. PETA activists created the ‘running of the nudes’, a demonstration the day before the festival.
By marching naked, they protested against the festival and the following bullfight, arguing the bulls are tortured for entertainment.