There is nothing more terrifying than losing track of your dog. The fear of the unknown sends most dog owners into a frenzied panic.
But Alabama native April Hamil is accustomed to losing sight of her bloodhound Ludivine. Hamil lives on a farm, and with so much room to graze, Ludivine is free to romp to her heart’s content.
She always finds her way back, and when the two-year-old hound was out of sight for over 90 minutes, panic alarms weren’t going off.
Little did Hamil know that Ludivine was out on the town, leaving a trail of marathoners in her dust.
On January 17, 2016, the city of Elkmont, Alabama hosted their first ever half-marathon. There was a notable appearance from a surprise runner.
The city of Elkmont originally called their inaugural half-marathon “Elkmont’s Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon”.
They decided to change that name after Ludivine, Hamil’s wandering hound dog, showed up to the starting line for the race.
The curious, friendly pup was drawn by the crowd. When the marathon participants took off running, she took off with them.
Despite never paying the mandatory registration fee, Ludivine ran the entire 13.1 miles of the marathon. Even more remarkable was her seventh place finish in the race.
Unbeknownst to April Hamil, her two-year-old hound dog, Ludivine, ran the entire 13.1 miles of the half-marathon.
Hamil had no idea her pup was on the loose and winning medals until she received a text message from officials at the marathon.
Elkmont is a small town, and one of Hamil’s coworkers who was volunteering at the event alerted her with a photo of Ludivine sporting her new brass.
“I got a phone call from a friend saying ‘you better get down here, people are going crazy over this dog,'” Hamil said while appearing on Fox News. “Somebody had given her some pizza and she had buried it under a crepe myrtle tree.”
Those who were in attendance say Ludivine would have done even better if not for a couple of distractions. She ran off the track several times to play in a bordering stream, and to run with some horses on a farm.
Ludivine was such a hit in Elkmont, the town decided to rename the marathon the “Elkmont’s Hound Dog Half Marathon”.
Hamil wanted the runners in the race to know she was sorry that her dog disturbed their run, but was amazed by Ludivine’s discipline to stay on the course.
“She just likes to get out and be around people. I am surprised she stayed the course for as long as she did,” said April Hamil.
The run was intended as a way to raise funds for the local high school cross country team. With that in mind, the national attention that Ludivine brought the race is welcomed.
In honor of Ludivine’s incredible achievement on that day, a special award is now given to the seventh place finisher.