Friday, December 25, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: Just nine more miles to Rivendell!

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging eight more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Sunday and five more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 449 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,350 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 24.9 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 27th day of his trip, which is Oct. 20 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off on my last update on Mile 441, one mile from the start of Day 27. The group leaves early that morning, around 7 a.m., hobbling along.


Seven miles later, at Mile 447, the road begins running down hill, and that’s much grass on both sides of the road. Two miles later, at Mile 449, the road plunges through a cutting of red stone with tall pines. At this point, in reaction to swiftly approaching Nazgul, Glorfindel the Elf screams, “Run!”


The next significant milestone comes just half a mile later, at Mile 449.5, where the Nazgul burst through behind them as the hobbits are about halfway across the grassy flat on the approach to Rivendell.


From Mile 449, I’m just nine miles from Rivendell, and I hope to reach it by the end of the month, which is next Thursday. To do so, I’m going to have to log a little more than a mile a day to make it to Rivendell before the end of the year.


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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