Friday, October 9, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 366 miles down and 1,433 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 Monday, three more on Wednesday and three more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 366 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,433 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 20.3 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 21st day of his trip, which is Oct. 14 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off on my last update at Mile 357, which was a mile from where Frodo’s group returned to the Great East Road. One mile later, at Mile 358, I reached the point where Strider scouts ahead and find an elf-stone on The Last Bridge, and he believes it’s a token of safety. At that point, Frodo’s group crosses the River Hoarwell/Mitheithel.


One mile later, at Mile 359, the group turns north from the Great East Road and enters the steep lands of the Trollshaws, where they can see ruined walls and towers frowning down on them. Three miles later, at Mile 362, the group reaches the point where the hills quickly shut them in, the going becomes difficult and they camp at the end of Day 21.


On Oct. 14, the group covers a total of six miles, and, so far, I’ve covered four miles of that distance. The next significant milestone comes two miles later, at Mile 368, where the group wraps up the end of Day 22.


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

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