A bloodhound from a small town known as Elkmont, Alabama, unknowingly participated in a local marathon. The dog, whose name is Ludivine, got involved in the marathon after her owner, April Hamlin, unknowingly let the dog out of the house.
The two-and-a-half-year-old bloodhound was most likely outside to go potty, but instead, followed her nose to the starting line of the inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon, which was about a quarter of a mile from where she lives. Apparently, when the starting shot went off, Ludivine took off running with everyone in the marathon.
Tim Horvath said, “I saw her for the first time in the parking lot before the race. 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.”
Jim Clemens, another runner, watched her go off the road. He thought the hound was going home, but then she came back and kept running. She would run a bit, and then get distracted and go off into some streams. At one point, around the two-mile mark, she was distracted by a dead rabbit, but then got back into the race.
“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.”
Ludivine proved to have more stamina than some humans who entered the marathon. According to Canadian Running, the bloodhound crossed the finish line with an unofficial time of 1:32:56, which would have put her in seventh place. Organizers of the event presented Ludivine with a medal for her accomplishment.
Ludivine’s owner, April Hamlin, told Runner’s World, “All I did was open the door, and she ran the race on her own accord.”
April had no idea her dog was out and about, let alone competing in the local marathon. She found out about Ludivine’s accomplishment because friends who were volunteering at the marathon sent her texts with photos.
“My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners,” she said.
Hamlin said she is thrilled by the attention Ludivine’s antics have brought to the small town marathon.
“It’s the first half marathon in Elkmont, and the people who started it are parents of the kids who run cross country,” Hamlin said. “They wanted to try and fundraise because our school system doesn’t have a ton of money for cross country. Because of this dog, they are getting so much publicity, and I think that’s the best part.”