While there were no open wounds from goring, several people were trampled or knocked down at 8:00 a.m. on the cobbled streets of the medieval town in northern Spain during the first “encierro” (release of bulls), the goal being to run as close as possible in front of six fighting bulls.

Among those taken to hospital, one person was treated for a leg injury, another took a blow to the head as he fell, while a teenager injured his arm, according to a porter. word of the Red Cross.

The six bulls were guided through the alleyways by six domestic oxen whose role is to keep the herd together despite the swarm of “runners” dressed in white with red headscarves and belts bustling around them.

The bulls, from the Núñez del Cuvillo cattle ranch, covered the 850 meters that separated the paddock where they were held to the bullring in two minutes and 35 seconds. They will then be put to death in the afternoon during the first bullfight of the festival.

“The bulls stayed pretty tight, they went straight, so it went pretty fast,” said Gordon MacDonald, a 46-year-old telecommunications worker who came from Glasgow, Scotland, especially for the occasion. and who took part in the race.

“It’s been a long time since we raced here, so everyone was a little nervous, we didn’t really know how it was going to be,” he added.

Visitors from all over the world come to this city of 200,000 people to test their courage and party day and night during these celebrations, which also include religious processions and concerts.

The party, immortalized in 1926 by Ernest Hemingway in his novel “The Sun Also Rises” and known worldwide ever since, was last held in July 2019. It was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19, a first since the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

Since 1910, 16 people have been killed in bull runs, with the last fatality in 2009.