Friday, June 19, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 223 miles down and 1,576 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 five miles on Sunday, three miles on Wednesday and five miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 223 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,576 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 12.4 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 12, at Mile 210, which was 12 miles from the eastern edge of the Marshes. One mile later, at Mile 211, Frodo’s group camped by a stream, among stunted alder trees, at the end of Day 12 as the moon waxed.


The next day, the sixth after Frodo’s group left Bree, begins with frost on the ground and clear skies. As the day begins, Frodo’s group can see crumbled ruins on the hills ahead. I’ve covered 12 more miles since this point and have six more to go to reach the next significant milestone, Mile 229, where Frodo’s group will camp at the foot of the Weather Hills 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 13 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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