(AP) A bull-running event inspired by the traditional Spanish spectacle is making its U.S. debut.
The Great Bull Run held its first of several events Saturday at a drag-racing strip in Virginia. Organizers say thousands paid to run.
The event is inspired by the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Some have criticized the treatment of bulls in the runs. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States says he's attending the Virginia event to ensure there's no mistreatment.
Organizers have said they're partnering with ranches who supply the bulls and veterinarians to monitor their health.
Organizers also have said their events will use fencing with coves for participants to get out of the way quickly.
Later events are planned for Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois and Pennsylvania.