Friday, April 10, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 123 miles down and 1,676 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging six more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Saturday and three more miles earlier today. So far, I’ve logged 123 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,676 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 6.8 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 117, around 10 a.m. of Day 7 (Sept. 29), as Frodo’s group recalled their scattered ponies and departed with Tom Bombadil leading the way. A mile later, at Mile 118, the group rides north through a gap and then five miles later, at Mile 123, they reach a dike and hedge. This represents the former boundary of Carolan, which was part of the North Kingdom of Arnor.


The next significant milestone, which I’ve yet to reach, will come eight miles later, around Mile 131, when the group returns to the Great East Road. This will be around 5:30 p.m. on Day 7.


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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