Thousands ran with the bulls at the Great Bull Run in Dinwiddie County today, and thousands more watched them sprint and jostle along with the big animals.

“I was with them the whole time,” said 43-year-old Dan Velker, a business owner from Elkton, near Harrisonburg. “Running near a 1,500-pound bull is what makes it exciting.”

Lining a quarter-mile-long dirt track at the Virginia Motorsports Park, groups of 500 people raced ahead, around and behind a dozen bulls stampeding down the fence-bordered course.

“Oh, my god! My daughter’s crazy,” said Lisa Smith from Manassas as she watched her 22-year-old daughter, Megan Burks, in the crush of fast-moving animals and dodging runners.