Hound Bandits Half Marathon in Alabama
The canine ran the entire 13.1-mile distance, much to the surprise of her owner.
By Megan Hetzel Friday, January 22, 2016, 3:32 pm
Ludivine pads along beside participants at the first half marathon to be held in Elkmont, Alabama.Photograph by WeRunHuntsville/Gregg Gelmis
Early Saturday morning, Ludivine, a 2˝-year-old hound dog, was let out of the house in Elkmont, Alabama, to do her business. Prone to roaming around town at will, Ludivine snuck out of the backyard and made her way to the starting area of the inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon about a quarter mile away.
Ludivine proceeded to mingle with the runners, run the entire 13.1-mile course, cross the finish line in an unofficial 1:32:56, and have a medal draped over her floppy brown earsall without her owner, April Hamlin, realizing she had wandered off in the first place. The incident was first reported in Canadian Running Magazine.
All I did was open the door, and she ran the race on her own accord, Hamlin, 43, told Runners World, saying she received texts with photos of Ludivine from friends who were volunteering at the finish. My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners.
Ludivine took off with runners from the start of the race downtown.
Hamlin said Ludivine has a penchant for solo strolls through downtown or the woods nearbyto the point where everyone in Elkmont knows who she isso the guidance counselor at Elkmont High School wasnt surprised her pup had left her pen again.
The fact that she ran 13.1 miles did take her aback, however. Shes laid back and friendly, so I cant believe she ran the whole half marathon because shes actually really lazy, said Hamlin, who added that she isnt a runner herself.
Tim Horvath, 49, ran most of the race with the pup.
I saw her for the first time in the parking lot before the race, said Horvath, a resident of Huntsville, Alabama. She came bouncing up, and I petted her on the head. I saw her collar, so I just figured she was somebodys dog. Elkmont is a small town where everyone knows everybody, so it didnt strike me as unusual.
Once the starting gun fired, Ludivine took off with the leaders, including Jim Clemens, 48, who eventually placed fourth overall in 1:23:15.
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.
Tim Horvath ran most of the race alongside Ludivine.
When Ludivine stopped to investigate a dead rabbit around the two-mile mark, Horvath caught back up with her. For the rest of the race, Ludivine stayed within 50 meters of Horvath, hopping on and off the course. 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 shed come back and run around our legs. I wondered if she was going to get tired or go back to wherever her home was.
But Ludivine kept running despite her distractions and eventually finished just behind Horvath who ran 1:32 for sixth place. Once Ludivine crossed the line, she slowed to a walk. Volunteers, apparently in awe of the spectacle, put a medal around her neck and started taking photos, Horvath said.
Ludivine makes her final strides to the finish line; the pup poses with her finisher's medal.
Hamlin said she is thrilled by the attention Ludivines race banditing has brought to the race.
Its 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 doesnt have a ton of money for cross country. Because of this dog, they are getting so much publicity, and I think thats the best part.
Hound Bandits Half Marathon in Alabama | Runner's World
âLazyâ bloodhound goes out for morning walk, finishes 7th in Alabama half marathon | WHNT.com