Since 1924, 15 people have died and more than 250 injured running the terrifying Pamplona Running of the Bulls. Our intrepid reporter reckons the odds are in his favour...

I first watched the running of the bulls on television about three years ago and was instantly hooked by the craziest race I had ever seen.

Made world famous by one of the 20th century's greatest writers, Ernest Hemingway, the annual Running of the Bulls race is revered by some and condemned by others. I had to do it.

The race starts at 7.30am. Bleary-eyed runners are told to meet in Consistorial Square to wait for the bulls to be released.

The narrow cobbled streets create a claustrophobic atmosphere as they are flanked by the city's medieval stone walls which are lined with spectators baying for the blood of the participants.

There is a variety of nationalities. I hear Spanish, German, French, American, English and Australian accents and I realise thanks to Hemingway, this spectacle is a worldwide draw for some of the most stupid people on the planet.

A woman places a candle in a small hollow next to a board with more than a dozen red sashes pinned to it - one for each runner who has died.

A brief prayer is said to bless the race, the runners and the bulls. It brings the dangers into context immediately.

An elderly mariachi band plays a few catchy tunes before heading behind the walls. Standing dressed in the traditional uniform of red neckerchief and sash and a white shirt, I briefly wish I could join them.

You can feel the waves of excitement surging through the crowds as it becomes apparent the bulls are about to be released.

As I gear myself up to be chased down by 1,500lbs of bull, I overhear a group of Englishmen claiming running in a group would benefit them far better than running it alone.

I, on the other hand, decide on a plan to run like hell and keep running and, because of my slight frame, I hope to just slip through the other contestants.

The crowd begin to jeer and sway, clapping, and, like a Mexican wave, surging up and down with thousands of runners preparing physically and mentally for the next three-minutes of sheer panic.

Suddenly, as if it was a surprise to all but the spectators, the whooooosh and ear-splitting bang of the signal firework fills the narrow streets.

The bulls are released and the crowd shift as one. From where I am standing I can see the back runners sprinting towards me. The braver and indeed more idiotic of the runners are very close to where the bulls are released from. I am a strategic 50 or so yards up hill so I had a good vantage point. Not that it does me any good.

Runners rush passed me but I stand my ground. I decide to run when I see the bulls.

As I wait, I have to dodge the frantic participants as they try, in vain, to run in a straight line. Suddenly a particularly huge Spaniard runs almost head-on into me.

I quickly realise why. He is being chased by one of the largest, meanest bulls I have ever laid eyes on. With a girly shriek and a Warner Brothers cartoon-style run on the spot, I was off in a cloud of smoke.

I run as fast as I can, rejecting the advice from my partner to start off slow and keep the pace.

Not daring to look behind me, I heard hoofs slamming against the wet cobbled floor. The clanging of the bells around their necks tells me they are getting very close.

In front, men, women and beasts were falling over each other like dominos, and dodging the fallen runners becomes probably one of the hardest parts of the race.

At one point I run headlong into an old Spanish man who had fallen and been injured, but luckily I manage to stay upright and shout an apology as I run on past him. Survival of the fittest, you understand.

My breath is coming out in ragged gasps and my heart is beating through my chest and I fear a goring is inevitable.

But, as I screech around a corner with bulls hot on my heels, I see the sanctuary of the entrance to the Plaza de Toros, the race's finish line.

A bull overtakes me on the last bend but luckily it does not take a fancy to my English features and runs ahead into the arena.

The feeling of conquering the bull run was unforgettable and something that I will definitely be taking part in for Pamplona 2009.

Unfortunately for the bulls, they are killed in bullfights after the races.