Friday, October 23, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 381 miles down and 1,418 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 miles on Wednesday and three more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 381 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,418 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 21.2 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 24th day of his trip, which is Oct. 17 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off on my last update at Mile 372, which was two miles from the end of Day 22. Two miles later, at Mile 374, I came to the end of Day 22, which was notable because the weather turned wet during the day.


Frodo’s group covers a total of six miles on Day 23, that is, Oct. 16, ending the day at Mile 380. During that day, the hills get higher and steeper, and the group is forced north out of their way. It rains throughout the day, and the group finally camps on a stony shelf by a shallow cave.


Frodo’s group also covers six total miles on Day 24, that is, Oct. 17. So far, I’ve only covered one mile of that distance, and the next significant milestone will come at Mile 386 when the group camps in a saddle at the top a ridge at the end of the day. This point will mark the group’s 11th day from their departure from Weathertop.


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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