More people. Bigger Partying. Even greater fun. And no wish for the fiestas to finish. As always, in the early morning of the 15th – this event, which started out as the “Running of the City Bus”- many years ago and which seems to attract more and more people each year, took place once again this year. The general comment going round was that this event has more runners than the correct Running of the Bulls on the 14th and final day of the proper event.
More than five hundred people gathered early this morning at 8.00 a.m. to take part in the “bus- running” (as distinct from the bull-running) and better known as Encierro del Dïa 15 o encierro de la villavesa. Organized each year by some people from the self-proclaimed movement, Movimiento 15 de julio, This is a vindication event to state that the fiestas don’t finish just when the authorities say that they do, but when the people themselves decide it is time to finish. As always the procession began after the Pobre de Mí traditional closing event and soon Mono Charlie, Induráin and a fake dressed-up San Fermín (but with many adept followers) could be seen in the streets of Pamplona.
Just a quarter of an hour before the clock struck 8.00, the main protagonists appeared, coming down from Jarauta Street with the traditional “Spada” bike and the entourage of “city hall” figures. There was a young man dressed as a banana, another as Tom Sawyer, a man with a black plastic garbage bag over him, another with a publicity poster of Media Martk and several “policemen” in various stages of uniform dress. They made their way through the large crowd of 500 people or so, waiting in Santo Domingo – certainly more than double the attendance of the past few years. The banner of the Peña Anaitasuna also made its customary appearance.
Two punctual rockets set off the “running”.
The whole event took 12 min. 15 sec. From the start at Santo Domingo to the finish at the bullring. It might be said that the event proceeded in its usual mayhem way. One participant was to be seen walking over a parked car which he apparently failed to notice in Estafeta and San Fermín was seen to trip up and fall at Mercaderes and he was promptly stepped on by some of the crowd. Although the crowd soon made the proper and appropriate reverential bows to him. Someone tried to touch Induráin on his bike “spada” and only succeeded in knocking off his cute aerodynamic helmet.
The homilies paid to Induráin and to San Fermín were massive, but, as has happened in previous editions, Induráin came to a halt until two, who had shouted in Estafeta “UPN Kanpora” did the same for him.
The “running” event came to a close at the entrance leading into the bullring with a spectacular riau-riau after which everyone made their own way home or to wherever, as best they could.
This morning the traditional Encierro del Día 15 (‘Running of the Bulls’ imitation) took place at the close of the San Fermín fiestas with an imitation Miguel Induráin cyclist leading the way. What these people really do, that is to say, the people from this Movimiento 15 de julio, (‘Movement of the 15th July’) is to stop the running each time that any political slogan are shouted out. Today there were six stops made for this reason along the length of the course of the Running of the bulls. At the seventh such “offence” at Labrit slope, “Induráin” abandoned his run and the run was finished on foot by some of the participants. The “Encierro” started some five minutes late, due to the need to make some changes to the “Spada” bicycle which “ Induráin” was using and there were two novelties, the return of the “monkey”, Charly to the race and the spontaneous participation of “ Induráin” in the chants to the Holy Patron.
Some three hundred people cheered on “Indurain” in his race and there were no incidents of any consequence. A fall in Estafeta on the part of two runners, just in front of the bicycle meant that everyone had to come to a halt for a few minutes but no injuries were caused. The “herd” took the corner of Mercaderes on the inside and the anti-slipping served its role of preventing any slip-ups. Those who fell did so on purpose. Here is the complete running. Viva the Holy Patron!
After the incidents registered last year at the annual “Encierro de la villavesa” (‘bus-running’) also known as the encierro del día 15 , this year of 2013 saw this non-official and popular event get back to its origins and the whole thing was celebrated in a natural way from its start at the Santo Domingo first stretch all the way to the bullring. There were no confrontations with the local police nor any real interruption of traffic or any other mishap as had sometimes been the case over these last few years.
With a certain unpunctuality, as the bicycle which has the role of the bulls, had an unforeseen breakdown, it was seven minutes after eight in the morning when the special – espada de Induráin bicycle – started off on the Santo Domingo slope. There were about 500 people present as well as a pantomime San Fermín figure seated at the niche of the saint. The “running of the bus” was played out in a normal fun-loving manner, with plenty of laughs and songs. Although it must be said that a sector of the participants seem to want to politicize the event by shouting slogans and insults against the authorities. This prompted the bicycle and its rider and some of its more immediate followers to call a temporary halt to the proceedings in protest and they expressed a wish to keep the event at a non-political level.
The group finally arrived at the end of Estafeta where some of the group served as “traffic lights” near the crossing towards the bullring. Here, on some previous years there had been some confrontations after stopping the traffic but this year there was no police presence at the spot and there was no real traffic disruption, save for the few seconds it took the group to cross the street.
After the mutual round of applause on reaching the bullring, “Induráin” and his bike considered that this particular “running of the buses” had come to an end and many other people followed him up Amaya Street on the road homewards. The crowd gradually dispersed with calls and salutes and promises to meet up next year at the same event once again.
The movimiento 15 de julio group once again celebrated this morning a new edition of this traditional “encierro de la Villavesa” or “Encierro del Día 15,” which last year celebrated its silver anniversary and this year had hundreds of people at the event. As it was a Sunday morning lots of people were ready to keep the partying going as long as possible.
The “encierro” had all its usual ingredients ; a human San Fermin human placed in his niche at Santo Domingo, the usual chants of the participants, the runners in fancy dress and wigs and the protagonist of the course of the running – Induráin and his mythical bicycle “Espada”, which was once again pushed and shoved by the large crowd. This year, due to the economic crisis perhaps, there was no blimp as in some previous editions. Nor was Charly the monkey present this year.
In any event, the “running” was celebrated with its usual foolery and laugher and there was a few voluntary falls along Estafeta, but the run could not be totally completed as there were a line of local police at the end of Estafeta Street which prevented the movimiento 15 de julio group from finishing the whole course.