When I consider animals known for their stamina, dogs don’t exactly leap to the top of the list. Clydesdales can trudge on indeterminately while dragging heavy loads.
Camels can brave sandy, inhospitable wastes. Mule deer spend their entire lives scrambling along rocky, mountainous slopes.
But dogs? Well, they’re just our loyal chums. We’re as likely to find dogs curled up in front of the television as bounding along for miles.
Or perhaps I should say most dogs. Some canines have shown themselves able to keep up in the most strenuous sorts of activity.
According to Runner’s World, an Elkhorn, Alabama, woman named April Hamlin let her 2-and-a-half-year-old bloodhound outside to do her business in 2016. She expected her dog named Ludivine to quickly return.
However, that’s the opposite of what Ludivine did. Instead, she ended up joining the first ever Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon, which was being run about a quarter mile from her home.
“All I did was open the door, and she ran the race on her own accord,” Hamlin said. “My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners.
“She’s laid back and friendly, so I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon because she’s actually really lazy.” Hamlin may have thought so at one point, but I bet she had to re-evaluate her opinion of her pet once she learned where Ludivine finished.
Runner Jim Clemens, who finished fourth, said, “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. She would run off to romp through streams and into yards to sniff around for a while.”
Even though she wandered about a bit, Ludivine mostly stuck with the other runners. She eventually finished in seventh place.
Far from being a nuisance, the bloodhound received official honors from the race’s organizers. After she crossed the finish line, she got a medal and a photo op.
For their part, the organizers of the Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon were simply thrilled that Ludivine joined in. Hamlin explained, ‘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.”
The Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon was renamed the Hound Dog Half in honor of Ludivine and her incredible feat.
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