A Hound Dog Crashes Alabama Marathon, Finishes in Seventh Place
The marathon entrant finished in seventh place, but she made several stops along the way.
There were all those dogs along the route that just had to be smelled and met. There were all those streams and yards that just had to be romped through and sniffed and peed on.
And then there was the dead rabbit in the road.
Despite those distractions, Ludivine, a two-and-a-half -year-old bloodhound in Alabama, won a medal for her seventh-place finish in the Trackless Train Trek Half-Marathon this weekend.
She raced with other, two-legged runners, crossing the finish line of the 13.1-mile course in tiny Elkmont with a time of 1:32:56.
All of this came as quite a surprise to Ludivine's owner, April Hamlin, who had let the dog out to do her business and thought she was just out running in the woods.
"I found out from coworkers that Ludivine had run the race after she had already completed it; they sent me texts and pictures of her with her medal," Hamlin told INSIDE EDITION Monday.
Her dog is usually pretty lazy, Hamlin said.
"Most days she lays around, but does like to take advantage of roaming around if she leaves the farm, she said.
Somehow, the floppy-eared dog made her way to the race route, and when the starting gun went off, so did she. Loping along with her tongue hanging out, she moved among her fellow human competitors with ease.
“I saw her for the first time in the parking lot before the race,” said Tim Horvath, 49, according to the Runner's World magazine. “She came bouncing up, and I petted her on the head. 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.”
Runner Jim Clemens, 48, said the hound kept pace with him for a time at the head of the pack.
But then she'd get distracted, and run the other way.
“Every time I thought she had dropped off to go back home, I would hear her coming back up to me, and she would race past me up to the two leaders,” Clemens said. “She would run off to romp through streams and into yards to sniff around for a while.”
Horvath said the dog eventually ran across the finish line with him. After she made a few stops.
“One time she went over and met another dog next to the course,” Horvath said. “Later on, she went into a field with some mules and cows. 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.”
Horvath finished sixth, and Ludivine finished 56 seconds behind him.
Volunteers placed a medal around her neck and began taking photographs.
Images posted by werunhuntsville.com show Ludivine at various points along the route, looking happy and determined.
The run, the first of its kind in Elkmont, was designed to raise funds for the school system's cross-country teams.
"She was so tired after the race, she laid down the rest of the day," Hamlin said. "She is a great dog and is wonderful with kids. My daughter dresses her up all the time and takes pictures of her that are hilarious."
Ludivine's exploits, which are going nuts on social media, helped raise awareness of the school's needs, said her owner. The school district doesn't have enough money to fund cross-country sports.