Saturday, August 15, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 299 miles down and 1,500 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging nine more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Sunday, three more on Tuesday and three more miles today (Saturday). So far, I’ve logged 299 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,500 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 16.6 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the seventeenth day of his trip, which is Oct. 9 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off on my last update at Mile 290, which was 11 miles from where Frodo’s group camped on Day 16. Eight miles later, at Mile 298, I passed where the group camped and began following a wide, shallow, curving valley.


I’ve covered one additional mile past that point, which puts me into Day 18. Frodo’s group covers 19 total miles on that day, which is the fourth from Weathertop. The next significant milestone comes at Mile 317, where the group camps before continuing to travel along the valley.


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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