Friday, June 5, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 202 miles down and 1,597 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 16 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Saturday, three miles on Monday, three on Wednesday and five miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 202 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,597 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 11.2 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the thirteenth day of his trip, which is Oct. 5 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off on my last update on Day 11, at Mile 186, which is after the point where Frodo’s group camped in the western part of the Marshes at the end of Day 10. Eight miles later, at Mile 194 at the end of Day 11, the group camps in the eastern part of the Marshes.


It’s at this point that Frodo and Aragorn see flashes of light in the east during the night. Fans of the novel, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” will know that these flashes of light are Gandalf on Weathertop doing battle with the Ringwraiths. As many of you know, these Ringwraith are hot on Frodo’s trail, trying to take his magic ring.


The next day, Day 12, the group covers four miles and at Mile 198, they end the day by reaching the eastern edge of the Marshes. From this point, the group can see the Weather Hills ahead and the land starts to rise. The land here is drier and very barren and there are few birds.


So far, from the start of Day 13, I’ve covered four miles and have got nine more to go before I reach the next significant mile stone. The next significant milestone will come at Mile 211, when the group will camp by a stream, among stunted alder trees, at the end of Day 13.


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.


The folks 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 very 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 10 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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