A hound dog who went missing from her owner's backyard ended up running a half marathon and finishing in the top ten. Two-and-a-half-year-old Ludivine disappeared from the yard of her home in Elkmont, Alabama back on 16 January.
From there she made her way to the starting point of the town's first ever half marathon, the Trackless Train Trek. Where she joined 165 runners, waited for the starting gun and then and ran the course finishing in 1:32:56, which gave her seventh place. Looking at it another way, she was first place of the animal competitors.
What's even more impressive about her run is that she finished seventh even though she spent some of her time wandering off course to check out a dead rabbit and hang out with the cheerleaders. Ludivine's owner April Hamlin was unaware of her dog's adventure, she'd just opened the back door to let her dog into the yard, until her friends texted her some pics of Ludivine at the race.
“All I did was open the door, and she ran the race on her own accord,” Hamlin told Runner’s World. “My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners.”
But not at all. One runner who completed the 13.1 mile course, Tim Horvath, told Runner's World that he ran pretty much the whole race with Ludivine.
"One time she went over and met another dog next to the course," Horvath told them. "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 ended up finished just behind Horvath. The race volunteers were so impressed at seeing a dog cross the finish line they gave the dog her own medal, placing it around her neck.
And now, in a show of gratitude at the worldwide publicity Ludivine brought to the race, the organisers have renamed it Elkmont's Hound Dog Half Marathon.
Every dog has its day. Or, every dog has its day and then gets a race named after it.