Friday, April 3, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 117 miles down and 1,682 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging nine more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Sunday, three miles on Wednesday and three more miles earlier today. So far, I’ve logged 117 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,682 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 6-1/2 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m still only on the seventh day of his trip. I left off on my last update at Mile 108, on the afternoon of Day 6 (Sept. 28), as Frodo’s group reached the top of a hill on the west side of the Barrow-downs, a place of great dread because it is inhabited by the evil Barrow-wights from Angmar.


At Mile 112, Frodo’s group stops at midday in a hollow atop a hill. They eat and fall asleep. Later they wake in a fog as the sun is going down. Around Mile 115, the group tries to head north, but they lose their way and become separated. Later, they are captured by the Wights, which brings Day 6 to a close.


Day 7 (Sept. 29) begins with Frodo singing and Tom Bombadil coming to the rescue. He also recalls the group’s scattered ponies. The group leaves around 10 a.m. with Bombadil leading the way. The next significant milestone, which I’ve yet to reach, will come around Mile 118, where the group will ride north through a gap.


For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1. Using a book called “The Atlas of Middle-Earth” by Karen Wynn Fonstad, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” created this challenge by mapping out Frodo’s fictional trek to Mordor, calculating the total distance at 1,799 miles. They also used the original "Lord of the Rings" text to outline the journey, so you can follow their route by keeping up with your total mileage.


Those who worked out the nuts and bolts of this virtual journey have divided it into four parts. It’s 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 462 miles from Rivendell through Moria to Lothlorien, 389 miles from Lothlorien down the Anduin to Rauros Falls and 470 miles from Rauros to Mount Doom. (Those locations should sound familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.) The hobbits averaged 18 miles a day, but if you walk (or jog, as I sometimes do) five miles a day, it’s possible to cover 1,799 miles in a year.


If you’re interested in learning more about the “Walk to Mordor Challenge,” I suggest you check out two Web sites, and Both of these sites provide a ton of details about the challenge, including how to get started.


In the end, check back next Friday for another update and to see how much closer I am to Mordor. I hope to knock out at least nine more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.


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