Completing a half marathon is a gruelling fitness challenge that typically requires weeks of training and preparation - but not for bloodhound Ludivine from Elkmont, Alabama. The dog surprised runners - and his owner April Hamlin - by coming seventh in the county's inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon over the weekend after accidentally joining in the race.
April had let her pet out of the house on Saturday morning, but didn't realise that the pooch had snuck out of the garden and found her way to the start line of the sporting event. She then continued to run the entire 13.1 mile route, crossing the finishing line in seventh place with an impressive time of 1:32:56.
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Ludivine accidentally joined the half marathon after sneaking out of her back garden
Jim Clemens, who finished the race just ahead of Ludivine, said that the bloodhound got distracted on several occasions throughout the run and stopped to investigate a dead rabbit around the two-mile mark.
"She would run off to romp through streams and into yards to sniff around for a while," Jim told Runner's World.
However the dog soon caught up and appeared determined to complete the race.
"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," the runner added.
Ludivine finished the race in seventh place
Meanwhile April knew nothing of her pet's incredible feat until race volunteers sent her text messages with pictures of Ludivine wearing her medal.
"My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners," she told Canadian Runner, adding that she was surprised Ludivine had complete the 13.1 mile course.
"I can't believe she ran the whole half marathon because she's actually really lazy."