As if someone had told him what happened last year, another bull from the José Escolar stockbreeder stopped dead in his tracks almost as soon as he’d come out of the pen on Saturday morning, at the third Running of the Bulls of San Fermín 2016. It was as if the animal took one look at the waiting runners, and decided that all that fuss wasn’t for him. But he found that the gates of the corral had been firmly shut, and he was forced to follow the rest of the herd. But he did so against his will, and left a trail of injuries in his wake, causing many scenes of panic and more than a few gorings.
In the end, reports from the Red Cross revealed that 12 people had been left injured during the run, two with gorings, which was low considering the number of falls and tramplings that were seen during the morning. It was evident that today is Saturday, the number of runners – and therefore the likelihood of an accident – having notably increased.
Today’s run was a strange one, even before it got started. As soon as the doors of the corral were opened, a child who was sat on one of the fences clapped his hands and startled the tame bullock that was leading the herd, who stopped in his tracks. And then someone else, sitting on the other side of the street, caught the attention of the last fighting bull, who was about to stop in his tracks. But in the end it was another one of the animals who, for whatever reason, seemed to be surprised by the sight of the white lines of a crosswalk and decided that this route wasn’t for him.
The rest of the animals headed up the hill without incident, until they got to the bend at Estafeta, where, despite the non-slip treatment applied to the cobbled streets, a pair of the bulls slipped and fell.
The straight street saw a compact run, given the high number of runners along the route. Another slip and fall by one of the bulls knocked the others to the ground, causing moments of tension as runners were trampled by the scrabbling animals.
Once on the Telefónica route a number of runners had slipped and fell when the herd arrived, and many found out just how much a hoof belonging to a 500-kilo animal can hurt.
But everything finished as planned, with the bulls arriving in the ring – albeit having trampled a number of fallen runners on the way in – and heading straight for the corral.
The stray animal was still out there, goring a runner on the Cuesta de Santo Domingo
But the stray animal was still out there, goring a runner on the Cuesta de Santo Domingo. He continued along the route, startled but defiant, clearing the fences and walls of runners with his horns, trampling another, before finally arriving in the bullring. When he entered the corral, four minutes and one second had passed.
What a mystery, this lone bull. Who must have told him that last year, on a Saturday, a relative of his also stopped in his tracks, as he did today, turned around, and ran back into the corral, only to have to be transported later to the ring in a truck? Well, at least this time around the bull saved himself the taxi ride...