Maybe this is the way you “vacation” when you deal all year with the pressures of running one of Ohio’s top-10 academic school systems?
Among the thousands of natives, tourists and thrill-seekers running with and away from charging bulls Saturday in Pamplona, Spain, was Mason Schools’ Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline.
Clad in the traditional white clothing with a red kerchief, Kist-Kline eagerly joined those dashing through the streets of the city n northern Spain as part of the annual San Fermin festival and the world famous running of the bulls.
Unlike six others sprinting with the horned beasts, she was not injured.
“It was exhilarating and unexpected,” she wrote in e-mails sent to The Enquirer.
“The intense moments of the run involved the massive crowd of people at the beginning and some running in sheer terror. The other really intense moment came just as we were about to enter the arena and the streets are narrowed by gates to funnel the bulls. We thought we were home free when we realized that they were three more bulls to come and there was no where to go,” she said.
Matching her frenetic strides was her 20-year-old son Quinn.
After running with the crowd into the bull-fighting arena, the participants get to “mingle” with the agitated and feisty bulls.
“The ultimate goal is to run and make it inside with the bulls before they close the gates immediately after the bulls enter,” she said.
“You can see the bull chasing the people still inside the ring,” she said referring to one of the photos she snapped.
“By this point Quinn and I climbed the wall to safety. When you enter the arena after the run it is filled with people cheering,” said Kist-Kline, who is also a veteran marathoner who runs occasionally when the job leading the 11,000-student Warren County district allows.
“The biggest surprise was the crowd and the fact that we couldn’t really run fast at all because of the number people,” she said. “The other big surprise was that Quinn smiled so big as the bulls came near us and it made me smile – we really weren’t afraid – it was exhilarating.”