Every dog may find its way home, but only one dog runs half-marathons.
Ludivine is a 2 1/2-year-old hound dog who lives in Elkmont, Alabama. Owner April Hamlin let her out on Jan. 16 to handle her business. Ludivine, who commonly roams town, according to Runner's World, wandered a quarter-mile away. She ended up at the starting line of the inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon.
Ludivine proceeded to run the entire 13.1-mile race in a time of 1:32:56 (unofficial). She even got a medal.
Hamlin thought nothing of Ludivine's absence until she received photo texts from friends of her long-distance running dog.
"All I did was open the door, and she ran the race on her own accord," said Hamlin, a guidance counselor at Elkmont High School. "My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners."
The opposite was true. Runners fraternized with the pup. Tim Horvath, 49, even ran most of the race alongside Ludivine.
"I saw her for the first time in the parking lot before the race," the Huntsville, Alabama, native said. "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."
At times, Ludivine veered off to sniff through streams and yards. She investigated a dead rabbit at the two-mile mark.
"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 was right there with Horvath when he finished. Horvath ran the race at 1:32, good for sixth place. Ludivine was an unofficial seventh among the 165 finishers.
After crossing the finish, Ludivine had the awareness to slow down. Volunteers placed a medal around her neck and posed for pictures.
"She's laid back and friendly, so I can't believe she ran the whole half marathon because she's actually really lazy," Hamlin said.
Or ... she's actually really fast. And the Doggy Forrest Gump.
Canadian Running broke the original story.