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Goring is much less common but potentially life threatening.In 2013, for example, six participants were gored along the festival, in 2012, only four runners were injured by the horns of the bulls with exactly the same number of gored people in 2011, nine in 2010 and 10 in 2009; with one of the latter killed.While transporting cattle in order to sell them at the market, men would try to speed the process by hurrying their cattle using tactics of fear and excitement.After years of this practice, the transportation and hurrying began to turn into a competition, as young adults would attempt to race in front of the bulls and make it safely to their pens without being overtaken.
A runner died of suffocation in one such pile up in 1977.
The benediction is a prayer given at a statue of Saint Fermin, patron of the festival and the city, to ask the saint's protection and can be translated into English as "We ask Saint Fermin, as our Patron, to guide us through the encierro and give us his blessing". Most runners dress in the traditional clothing of the festival which consists of a white shirt and trousers with a red waistband ("faja") and neckerchief ("pañuelo"). A second rocket signals that all six bulls have been released.
Also some of them hold the day's newspaper rolled to draw the bulls' attention from them if necessary. The third and fourth rockets are signals that all of the herd has entered the bullring and its corral respectively, marking the end of the event.
Another major risk is runners falling and piling up (a "montón") at the entrance of the bullring, which acts as a funnel as it is much narrower than the previous street.
In such cases injuries come both from asphyxia and contusions to those in the pile and from goring if the bulls crush into the pile.