This past weekend, Elkmont — a small Alabama town home to less than 500 people — hosted its first half-marathon. A dog finished in seventh place. That’s right…a dog. It even got a medal and everything.
Early Saturday morning, Ludivine, a 2½-year-old hound dog, was let out of the house in Elkmont, Alabama, to do her business. Prone to roaming around town at will, Ludivine snuck out of the backyard and made her way to the starting area of the inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon about a quarter mile away.
Ludivine proceeded to mingle with the runners, run the entire 13.1-mile course, cross the finish line in an unofficial 1:32:56, and have a medal draped over her floppy brown ears—all without her owner, April Hamlin, realizing she had wandered off in the first place.
Now, when I first heard about this story, my first reaction was “that’s a good dog who deserves praise.” (As a disclaimer: This is how I feel about most dogs.)
Some members of the Uproxx Sports staff chat disagreed, however, and we got to arguing. Here is a brief summary of the arguments made for and against Ludivine.
- She went out to pee and accidentally ran a 13-mile road race. This dog is dumb and hilarious as hell.
- She ran a half-marathon in just over an hour and a half. I bet you can’t do that.
- 13 miles is a long time for a dog to pay attention to literally anything.
- Only a half-marathon? Lazy-ass dog.
- This dog has twice as many legs as everyone else in the race. Seventh place is unacceptable.
- I bet this fraudulent-ass dog didn’t even pay the race’s entry fee.
But, after arguing over Ludivine’s merits for a while, we arrived at what should be the true focus of this story: Her owner stinks.
Listen, I’m all about letting dogs do their own thing, being free and having a grand ol’ time, but the fact that this dog is notorious for just aimlessly wandering around town probably isn’t a great look. Part of being a good dog owner is assuming the responsibility of keeping your dog safe. Assuming Ludivine isn’t some Houdini-like escape artist, her owner should probably invest in a leash or a fence.
If you’re not going to do that, though, at least try to have some idea where your dog is? Between Ludivine mingling with runners and then completing the entire race, it seems likely that she was away from home for at least close to two hours, and her owner didn’t even notice she was missing. Like, didn’t even notice. At all. This dog is so neglected it had to escape its backyard and run 13 miles just to feel a little love.
But the most damning evidence of Ludavine’s owner’s terribleness are the quotes that she gave following this whole debacle.
“My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners.”
Embarrassment. Her first reaction was embarrassment, for fear that her awesome dog’s sweet achievement might somehow bring shame to her own name. This is Terrible Sports Parenting 101. “Wow, four home runs today, junior. Thank god. For a second there I thought you were going to embarrass our family by being a useless idiot child.”
But maybe the most incredible piece of this story comes in the form of this line:
“I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon because she’s actually really lazy,” said Hamlin, who added that she isn’t a runner herself.
Can you believe this lady?
(Via Runner’s World)