Friday, January 22, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 481 miles down and 1,318 miles to go

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 more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 481 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,318 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 26.7 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the second night of the trip past Rivendell, which is the night of Dec. 26-Dec. 27 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 468, which was two miles past where the Fellowship of the Ring turned south on “narrow paths among folded lands.” Eight miles later, at Mile 473, the group reached the point where, to the west, they could see where the River Bruinen cuts a steep-sided canyon.


Four miles later, at Mile 477, the sun begins to rise, signaling the morning of Dec. 26 and the end of the first night of travel from Rivendell. The group camps during the day, but sets off again at sundown on Dec. 26. I’ve covered two miles past this point. The country here is empty, rough and barren.


So far, I’m on track to travel from Rivendell to Lothlorien, which is the forest realm of the Elves, between Rivendell and Mordor. To pull this off in a year’s time, I’ve got to travel at least 8.9 miles per week, that is, a little more than a mile a day. So far, so good, since I covered a total of 13 miles this week.


For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1, 2015. 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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