Roller Girls Give Chase In La. Version Of Bull Run
Runners Dress Like Those In Pamplona, Spain
July 12, 2008
Of course, there were no real bulls to speak of — just Big Easy Roller Girls. But just like in Spain, the object is not to get hurt.
About 600 men, women and children gathered outside a French Quarter bar Saturday morning to be chased by members of New Orleans’ roller derby league.
The goal of Running of the Bulls in the French Quarter is not to get hit by the roller girls with wiffle bats.
“I find it very interesting that the women were running like we were serious and the men were bending over,” roller girl Luv’n Blood said.
Most of the runners wore white with red scarves around their waists and red bandannas around their necks – the dress for running in front of bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
Thirty-three members of New Orleans’ four roller derby teams signed up to chase and whack.
Runners knelt for a brief prayer by “The Rev. Psycho Ward,” aka Andrew Ward. Then they were off. A few minutes later, the skaters whacked their bats on the street and headed off with a roar. Behind them putted the Rolling Elvi – Elvis impersonators on motorized scooters.
People were running for their lives to avoid the wiffle bat goring. The corredors, or runners, kept up their pace for about four minutes.
“I ran like hell,” participant Beth Hanning said.
Coming at full speed, the Big Easy Roller Girls showed no mercy. Toward the end, there were a few casualties on both sides.
“Well, I had a great time and I have something to show for it,” Luv’n Blood said. “I’m officially the only roller girl to shed blood by the Running of the Bulls.”
“I just came around the corner and one of those bulls got me,” participant Mark said. “But I think I’m going to be OK.”
WDSU reporter Fletcher Mackel ran a bit and was also hit, his brother, Travers, said.
Watchers included local promoter George “Loki” Williams. He predicts that in a year or two, more than 1,000 people will run.
More than 600 people joined the Running of the Bulls festivities. Organizers said the event was a success and attendance doubled from last year.
They said they expect this to be a yearly tradition.