Dogs love to run. Some love to run more than others, and this dog is proof of that! Have you ever participated in a marathon or half marathon? A half marathon consists of running more than 13 miles. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble running down the block let alone running more than 13 miles!
Most people train for months before participating in any type of extreme physical challenge like a half marathon. Ludivine, a young hound dog with a passion for running, didn’t train at all for the half marathon that she participated in earlier this month. In fact, it was something that she completed on accident.
Ludivine’s owner, April Hamlin, let the hound out to pee on January 16th and the dog ended up wandering over to the Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon in her hometown of Elkmont, Alabama. She made her way to the starting line, which was located about a quarter mile down the street from her home. Without prompting, Ludivine decided to line up with the rest of the runners.
Amazingly, the dog decided to run the entire marathon with the rest of the runners. She completed the 13.1 mile course in 1:32:56, which gave her a seventh place finish. Even more astonishing, Ludivine stopped many times to sniff when her curiosity got the best of her. Imagine where she would have finished if she hadn’t stopped!
The runner ahead of her thought Ludivine dropped off and headed back home countless times, but each time the dog would eventually trot back up into place and continue to follow the pack of runners. The 6th place finisher crossed the line and immediately asked to get the dog some water. Although she stopped in streams along the way, Ludivine needed a well-deserved drink.
She was also presented with a medal upon crossing the finish line. Hamlin may have been more shocked than anyone by her dog’s participation in the event. She said Ludivine is typically a very mellow, laid back dog and she isn’t extremely active.
In the past couple of weeks, the dog has gotten worldwide attention for completing the half marathon. In fact, the marathon has now officially been renamed. In 2016 the event will be called Elkmont’s Hound Dog Half Marathon. Proceeds from the race benefit Elkmont High School’s cross country and track and field programs. I’m sure all this publicity will be a huge help in raising funds for the worthy cause.
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If your dog decides to run a half marathon without you, there isn’t much you can do about it. However, if you decide to run with your dog, there are some safety concerns that you should be aware of. The first thing you’ll want to be sure of is that your dog is properly tethered to you, unless you’re in an area that is safe for him to run off leash.
You shouldn’t automatically assume your dog is a runner. Consider his age, weight and body structure. If you have any doubt as to whether your dog should be running long distances, check with your vet before setting out for a jog. In some instances (like with senior dogs and small breeds) it may be best to stick to a brisk waking pace.
Dogs are the best workout buddy that you could ask for. Whether you hike, run, walk or swim, there are many forms of exercise that your pet can do right along with you. Exercising with your pet is a great way to bond with him and you’ll both be healthier. Now that’s what I call a win-win!