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Running a half marathon is a great goal to set for yourself. You buy all the books, gather training plans, set up spreadsheets and adhere to strict diets. You wake up every morning, brush your teeth and yell at your mirror, “I’m a runner.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Then, you go to your half marathon, hopped up on adrenaline and Wheaties with fruit. You line up with your competition, feeling good about the progress you’ve made in your training. The starter shoots the gun and you’re off!

You’re in the group that’s ahead of the main pack. You visualize breaking the ribbon at the finish line. If only you could get ahead of that dog…

Ludivine was a two-and-a-half-year-old bloodhound let out by her owner to do her business. Somehow, she ended up at the starting line of the Elkmont Trackless Train Half Marathon, held in Elkmont, Alabama.

Ludivine's grand entrance to half marathon running!

Posted by Elkmont's Hound Dog Half on Monday, January 18, 2016

Even though she sniffed around a dead rabbit and played with some cows along the way, Ludivine finished the race in an hour and a half. She took 7th place.

Her owner, April Hamlin, told Runners World, “All I did was open the door, and she ran the race on her own accord.”

Shortly after letting Ludivine out to pee, she began receiving texts from her friends who were at the race.

“My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners.”

But country dogs have more space to develop some instincts for good behavior, and none of the runners reported her as being a nuisance. Plus, everyone in Elkmont knows who Ludivine is from her walks through town and in the woods.

But Ludivine still surprised Hamlin with her active adventure.

“She’s laid back and friendly, so I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon because she’s actually really lazy.”

The best part of this tale is this was the first race in Elkmont and was started by cross-country parents as a fundraiser for the high school team. Now, it’s a successful yearly event, due in part to Ludivine’s spontaneous participation.

Who’s a good girl, Ludivine!