Saturday's event was billed as a safer version of the famous running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Rodeo bulls that have dulled horns and are more tame were used in the quarter-mile run, The Arizona Republic reported.
Hundreds of runners jockeyed for position with 20 1,500-pound bulls, the Republic said.
Dean Lambrose, who attended Weber State University in Utah on a rodeo scholarship, said the Cave Creek event was safe.
"This is rodeo stuff," he said. "These bulls are around humans all day long. They're pretty domesticated."
Opponents of the event gathered about 2,000 signatures in protest, contending the run was harmful to the bulls and could pose safety issues.
None of the protesters attended Saturday's event, the Republic said.