“She’s laid-back and friendly, so I can’t believe she ran the whole half-marathon because she’s actually really lazy,” Hamlin told Runner’s World.
Maybe Hamlin shouldn’t have been surprised, though, because this is what dogs do and Ludivine, named for a character in the Russell Crowe movie “A Good Year,” is not the first to complete a race. It’s happened at least two other times.
Brett Evill, a reader from Australia, writes to say that his family’s Labrador, Minnie, ran a half-marathon with her owner in 1969. Minnie finished fifth with a quick stop to sniff at a tree, a newspaper clipping from the day reports. Minnie also needed medical attention because her paws were rubbed raw, but was otherwise fine.
In 2011, Dozer, a goldendoodle from Fulton, Md., ran about seven of the 13.1 miles in the Maryland Half-Marathon. “This is a very sweet dog,” Karen Warmkessel, spokeswoman for the University of Maryland Medical Center, said at the time. “When I saw him today, he looked great.”
Two years later, Boogie, a 100-pound dog, escaped his leash and crashed a half-marathon in Evansville, Ind. Boogie finished in 2 hours 15 minutes — faster than half the human runners — and, for his trouble, got a medal and a microchip so his owner can keep track of him.
Although her owner worried that her pup might have been a distraction for the field of 165 runners, Ludivine seemed to make friends along the way, stopping once to sniff out a dead rabbit.
“One time she went over and met another dog next to the course,” he told Runner’s World. “Later on, she went into a field with some mules and cows. Then she’d come back and run around our legs.”
Elkmont is a small town and everyone just thought Ludivine belonged to a runner.
“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,” runner Jim Clemens said. “She would run off to romp through streams and into yards to sniff around for a while.”
In the ultimate honor, the race will be renamed the “Hound Dog Half” in Ludivine’s honor, race director Gretta Armstrong told the Huffington Post. There’s no word on whether Ludivine plans to run it again.
This post has been updated.