Longhorn-adorned Big Easy Rollergirlswielding plastic bats pursued throngs of racers bedecked in the same white clothing and red sashes traditionally worn by the San Fermíncorredors in Pamplona, Spain. The scene, however, was the Warehouse District on Saturday morning,
Rob Morgan, dressed as a matador and waving a red cloth, lured a beautiful rollerskating “bull” past him during El Encierro, aka Running of the Bulls, at the annual festival of San Fermin in Nueva Orleans.
A sea of red and white figures packedConvention Center Boulevard. Some held Spanish flags.
In addition to the local rollergirls, other roller derby leagues from across the country descended on New Orleans for the event – not wanting to miss the opportunity to play the bull.
But the New Orleans event – started in 2007 and mimicking the 8 a.m. start time of the Pamplona one also held on Saturday – was, as you would expect, much safer than the harrowing event across the Atlantic.
On Saturday in Pamplona, at least 23 people were injured when thrill-seekers fleeing the beasts were crushed at the narrow entrance to the town’s bullring, the Associated Press reported. A 35-year-old American from Cleveland, Ohio – identified only by the initials I.L. – was one of two runners gored.
The American was undergoing surgery Saturday afternoon after suffering a “rectal perforation,” according to the AP.
The other person gored was a 19-year-old Spaniard from the city of Azpeitia. He was gored in an armpit during the 928-yard (850-meter) dash through Pamplona’s narrow streets.