April Hamlin let her Bloodhound, Ludivine, out in her Elkmont, Ala., backyard the morning of Jan. 18 to take a potty break.
Or so Hamlin thought.
Two-year-old Ludivine (she was named after a character in the movie “A Good Year”) somehow managed to escape from the yard and then wandered to the starting line of Elkmont’s first-ever Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon.
Ludivine ran the 13.1 miles in about 92 minutes, finishing in seventh place.
Meanwhile, Hamlin must have assumed Ludivine was just hanging out in the backyard all that time. Imagine her surprise when someone texted her a photo of her dog wearing a medal that was awarded to everyone who finished the race.
“My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners,” Hamlin told Runner’s World.
Ludivine likes to wander the town on her own, Hamlin said, and most of the local residents know her. What surprised her was that Ludivine actually finished a 13.1-mile race.
“She’s laid back and friendly, so I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon because she’s actually really lazy,” Hamlin told Runner’s World.
Ludivine’s running buddy for much of the marathon was Tim Horvath, who assumed the friendly Bloodhound belonged to someone in the race.
“She came bouncing up, and I petted her on the head,” he told Runner’s World. “I saw her collar, so I just figured she was somebody’s dog. Elkmont is a small town where everyone knows everybody, so it didn’t strike me as unusual.”
Ludivine had some distractions during the race. Horvath said that at one point, she went over to meet another dog near the course. “Later on, she went into a field with some mules and cows,” he told Runner’s World. “Then she’d come back and run around our legs. I wondered if she was going to get tired or go back to wherever her home was.”
Jim Clemons, a runner who finished in fourth place, told Runner’s World the Bloodhound “would run off to romp through streams and into yards to sniff around for a while.”
Hamlin said that once she got over the shock, she was happy for Ludivine’s accomplishment. The purpose of the half-marathon was to raise money to buy equipment and pay race fees for Elkmont High School’s cross-country and track-and-field teams.
“Because of this dog, they are getting so much publicity, and I think that’s the best part,” she told Runner’s World.
The director of the half-marathon, Gretta Armstrong, told Canadian Running, “Our little town (population: 500) is getting a kick out of the story ‘going international!'”
Photos via Facebook