Saturday, April 25, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 143 miles down and 1,656 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 13 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged four miles on Saturday, three miles on Sunday, three miles on Wednesday and three miles on Friday. So far, I’ve logged 143 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,656 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 7.9 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the eighth day of his trip. I left off on my last update at Mile 130, where Frodo and his group were about five miles from the town of Bree. At Mile 131, the group returns to the East Road around 5:30 p.m. on Day 7, which is Sept. 29 on the Middle Earth calendar. Tom Bombadil leaves the group, and Strider sees the group, but hides.


Day 7 comes to an end at Mile 135 as the group reaches Bree, where they stay at The Prancing Pony and meet Strider. Unfortunately, their ponies are stolen during the night.


On Day 8, which is Sept. 30, the group leaves Bree on the East Road around 9:30 a.m. Five miles later, at Mile 140, the leave the road and head north into Chetwood and don’t see a living thing all day. I make three more miles, which puts me four more miles of the next checkpoint, where the group camps east of Archet.


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 eight more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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