A Lurgan woman has been injured and her friend hospitalised while taking part in the annual Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain.
Sue Stalker, aged 38, suffered a mild head injury after a fellow runner at the Spanish festival ran into her and she fell backwards hitting her head on concrete.
Sue, who has been living in Lurgan for the past six years, is the mother of three kids and has been travelling to Spain for the bull runs for four years.
“I was seen by the hotel doctor who told me to sleep it off. I forced myself to run the next day as I didn’t want to have a fear of it. It was absolutely terrifying. There is nothing as scary,” she said.
Originally from England, Sue now works in ASDA and was introduced to the Running of the Bulls by John Hemingway, grandson of American author Ernest. “As a little kid I saw it on TV and always wanted to do it.”
This year Sue brought her friend from Portadown Kayleigh McManus. And red-head Kayleigh might have been an obvious attraction for the bulls, however, she was hurt in a collision with another runner during the stampede to get away from the running bulls.
The 28-year-old Portadown girl was taken to hospital with a neck brace but later laughed off her injuries.
“The shock of the injury hasn’t taken away my wish to keep on running. The adrenalin is incredible.”
She said that her injuries looked a lot worse than they actually were and she was looking forward to returning to the world famous festival next year.
Sue and Kayleigh arrived in the northern Spanish town of Pamplona on July 4 where the nine-day festival takes place every July and are due home today (Thursday).
Kayleigh said: “It’s the first time I’ve been to the Running of the Bulls festival but the third time I’d run since this year’s started.
“I’ve seen it on the television and always wanted to run, it was like a dream for me.“The shock of the injury hasn’t taken away my wish to keep on running.
“The adrenalin is incredible. I feel like I’m on top of a mountain when the run finishes.
“I’ll definitely try and come back next year.”
Sue also vowed to return to the Spanish festival next year.
Doctors diagnosed concussion after performing a CAT scan on Kayleigh and gave her the all-clear to leave hospital.
Other runners weren’t quite so lucky.
A bull gored three men after breaking away from the pack chasing crowds through the streets of Pamplona in the closing run of the San Fermin festival earlier this week.
The animal charged several runners in the town, lifting at least two of them off the ground on its horns and ripping through their legs.
Two Australian men were wounded - one of them, a 26-year-old, seriously - alongside a Spaniard, 21, from the surrounding Navarra region, said authorities.
The nine day festival has witnessed 14 fatalities caused by running with bulls over the past 100 years at Pamplona.