Lazy Ludivine The Hound Dog Follows Nose To Half-Marathon, Runs It, And Wins 7th Place

Shelley Hazen - Author
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Jan. 25 2016, Updated 12:11 p.m. ET

Anyone who owns a hound dog knows that they follow their nose everywhere. So it’s no surprise that Ludivine the bloodhound was distracted from her morning pee, followed her sniffer to a half-marathon, and ended up running the whole race to place 7th among 165 runners.

And the dog did this without her owner, April Hamlin, even knowing she’d left the yard. In fact, April didn’t know Ludivine — who is just over 2-years-old — had achieved 7th place until a friend volunteering at competition sent her pictures of the proof, according to Runner’s World.

The hound dog is known to wander the woods near Elkmont, Alabama, so her long ears and droopy face are a familiar sight among Hamlin’s neighbors. And though she loves to take walks, she’s actually “really lazy,” said her owner.

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That she managed to finish the entire half-marathon was quite a surprise.

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Ludivine ran it Saturday morning. She followed her nose out the backyard and all the way to the starting line of the inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon, about a quarter-mile away. She hung out with the others for a while, and when the starting shot went off, she started running like everyone else, April told CNN.

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“She stayed with a few of the front runners, ran off to sniff some animal carcasses, romp in the water, and then back to the race.”

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The bloodhound stayed with the human participants the entire 13.1-miles, as the Trek began in downtown Elkmont and wove through rural roads. A couple people remembered her, following her nose off course several times, but always finding her way back.

“I saw her for the first time in the parking lot before the race,” said Tim Horvath, who ran most of the course with the hound. “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.”

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Another runner, Jim Clemens, watched her leave the road — he thought to go home — then come back and keep running. Soon enough, she’d get distracted again, splash through streams and sniff yards. At one point, she was waylaid by dead rabbit at the two-mile mark, but kept going.

“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.”

But she never got tired, but kept running with as much stamina as the humans who signed up to purposefully tackle the Trackless Train Trek. Obviously, she was having far too much fun to give up.

After 13 miles of keeping up with the other runners, Ludivine crossed the finish line and, as if knowing she’d completed a half-marathon, slowed to a walk. And even though she wasn’t an official competitor, organizers recognized her achievement anyway.

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They were simply in awe. That’s because the hound finished seventh of 165 runners and finished in over an hour-and-a-half. That put her in 7th place, with an (unofficial) time of 1:32:56.

And the pooch even earned a medal for coming in 7th place, which was presented to her at the finish and swept over her long brown ears. At this point, April didn’t even know she’d been gone all that time, but afterwards, noted proudly that at 7th place, her pooch was the top-placed female.

Of course, she’s gotten a lot of attention for getting 7th place in a human’s half-marathon, and that’s been a blessing for the event. April said it’s the first ever held in Elkmont, and is meant to raise money for schoolchildren.

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“It’s the first half marathon in Elkmont, and the people who started it are parents of the kids who run cross country. 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.”

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Congrats, Ludivine, on your 7th place finish!

[Photo jadimages/Shutterstock]

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