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Pensacola's roller derby 'bulls' give runners good times, solid hits

Pensacola's roller derby 'bulls' give runners good times, solid hits

The Birmingham News -

By Dennis Pillion | 

July 20, 2013

PENSACOLA, Florida -- It's not exactly the same kind of Fiesta de San Fermin that Ernest Hemingway made famous in Pamplona, Spain, but Pensacola's version of the encierro (Running of the Bulls) is making a lasting impression on the Panhandle city.

Hundreds of runners took to the streets of Pensacola today, for the third edition of Pensacola's Running of the Bulls. Participants progressed at wildly different paces through a roughly one-mile course that took them up Palafox Place and across Garden Street before returning to the start line at Seville Quarter.

The last of the runners had barely crossed the start line when the "bulls," members of nearby roller derby teams, were set free from the gate at Seville Quarter and began riding down the runners and leaving marks both with plastic wiffle ball bats and with markers to show which runners they'd "gored."

At the end of the course, the bulls formed a gauntlet at the entrance to the courtyard at Seville Quarter, buffeting runners from both sides as they scampered through the last few hundred feet of the course.

Scroll through the photo gallery above for scenes from the run, the gauntlet and the after-party, and the video above to see several runners go through the gauntlet at the end. And if that's not enough, see our report from last year's Running of the Bulls