A half marathon in Alabama might have escaped media attention if not for its unlikely finisher: a hound dog named Ludivine. Owner April Hamlin says she let Ludivine out Saturday morning and only learned later that her 2 1/2-year-old dog had run the full 13.1-mile race in Elkmont, Alabama, Runner's World reports. Runners say Ludivine did well, keeping up with the leaders when she wasn't romping around fields populated by mules and cows. Her unofficial 1:32:56 finish (right behind the sixth-place finisher) left runners so impressed they gave her a medal and snapped photos.
"She’s laid back and friendly, so I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon because she’s actually really lazy," says Hamlin. But she's excited that small-town Elkmont (population 500, notes Canadian Running Magazine) is getting all this attention. "It’s the first half marathon in Elkmont, and the people who started it are parents of the kids who run cross country," she says. "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." (Read more dog stories.)