The small town of Elkmont in Alabama gets its day in the spotlight thanks to Ludivine, a local hound dog that ran a half marathon after leaving its own backyard, wandered to the starting line of the Trackless Train Trek and finished with a time of 1:32:56, which would have placed her at seventh place.
The two-and-half-year-old-dog snuck out of her owner’s (April Hamlin) yard on the morning of January 16 and wound up being a part of the annual race. Hamlin didn’t even notice her dog was gone until she got texts from her friends with pictures of Ludivine participating with the 165 runners in the half marathon.
According to reports, Ludivine could have finished with a much better time had she not wandered off in the middle of the race at certain moments to mingle with cheerleaders or sniff the carcass of a dead rabbit. Just so you know: The official IAAF world record for men is 58:23, set by Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea on March 21, 2010 at the Lisbon half marathon in Portugal, and for women is 1:05:09, set by Florence Kiplagat of Kenya on February 15, 2015, in Barcelona, Spain. Ludivine’s time wasn’t bad at all, but she wasn’t breaking any records.
Tim Horvath of Huntsville, Alabama, came in sixth in the race. He said Ludivine ran alongside him for most of the race an seemed to be having quite a lot of fun, but needed quite a lot of water after an hour or so. She came up to him at the start of the race, which Horvath didn’t seem to think was unusual, with Elkmont being a small town and Ludivine looking like she belonged to someone by the collar.
Hr owner, Halmin, was quite surprised to hear she was able to complete the race: She’s laid-back and friendly, so I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon, because she’s actually really lazy. Gretta Armstrong, the race director, said people weren’t aware Ludivine ran the entire race until the very end: Everyone was actually quite surprised. We saw her at the start, but the way the course is laid out, we didn’t see the runners until the finish line.
Ludivine making the race and Elkmont a lot more famous than they ever have been has caused the organizers to change the name for the 2017 half marathon to Elkmont’s Hound Dog Half Marathon. They might also play on that theme during the race, be it by playing Elvis Presley songs and possibly having a shorter, separate course for leashed dogs.
We’re a small town of about 400 people, and now that this has worldwide recognition, it makes sense to tie it back to Ludivine.