A female dog takes seventh place in a half-marathon

Photo Credit: Elkmont Half Marathon

Ludivine, a pack dog, finished a race in Alabama where 165 humans were competing… even though she allowed herself a break during the race to investigate a dead rabbit.

The Trackless Train Trek runners were speechless: a dog infiltrated the top 10! On January 16th, Ludivine, a two and a half year old dog, sneaked out of her owner’s garden to wander to the starting point of the event. Alongside the 165 participants, Ludivine completed the entire half-marathon, finishing in 1:32:56, in seventh place (unofficial), even though she spent some portions of the course mingling with the cheerleaders and examining a rabbit carcass.

Her owner, April Hamlin, didn’t even realize that Ludivine had left her backyard until some of her friends who participated in the competition sent her pictures of her doggie among the participants. She confides that Ludivine loves to explore the city so much that its inhabitants now recognize her. But she didn’t expect the dog to finish the race.

“She’s relaxed and friendly and I can’t believe she ran the entire half-marathon because she’s actually really lazy,” she tells Runner’s World. Ludivine received a medal for her achievement. Race Director Gretta Armstrong says that most of the competitors were unaware that the bitch had run the entire race before she finished. “Everyone was pretty surprised. We had seen her at the beginning but the way the race was set up, we couldn’t see the runners before the finish line,” she says.

Tim Horvath, who finished sixth, did most of the course with Ludivine and told the participants at the end of the race that the dog had been running for over an hour and needed water and that she came to see him before the top start in the parking lot. “She came towards me jumping and I stroked her head. I had seen her necklace so I figured it belonged to someone. Elkmont is a small town where everyone knows each other so it didn’t seem unusual to me.

Ludivine’s performance led race organizers to rename next year’s race as Elkmont’s Hound Dog Half Marathon. They want to offer short courses for dogs on a leash. “We’re a small town of about 400 people and now that the event has gained worldwide attention, it makes sense to link it to Ludivine,” says the organizer.