Friday, June 26, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 236 miles down and 1,563 miles to go

Frodo's buddy, Samwise Gamgee.

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 236 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,563 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 13.1 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the fourteenth day of his trip, which is Oct. 6 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off on my last update on Day 13, at Mile 223, which was 12 miles from the start of Day 13. Six miles later, at Mile 229, Frodo’s group reached the foot of the Weather Hills and camped there at the end of Day 13.


Day 14, the seventh from Bree, begins when Frodo’s group breaks camp and follows the path south toward Weathertop. This path is cunningly hidden and is edged with stones where the land is open. It’s during this leg of the trip that Samwise Gamgee recites part of “The Fall of Gil-galad.”


From the start of Day 14, it’s 10 miles to the next milestone of the trip, Mile 239, which is where, around midday, Frodo’s group comes near to the south end of the path and reach the dell at the western foot of the hill. I’ve got three more miles to go before I reach this milestone.


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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