Friday, January 1, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 458 miles down and 1,341 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” and reached an important milestone during the past week by logging nine more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Sunday and four more miles yesterday (Thursday). So far, I’ve logged 458 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,341 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 25.5 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 449, which was half a mile from where the Nazgul burst through behind Frodo’s group as the hobbits were halfway across the grassy flat on the approach to Rivendell. Around noon on that day, the “Attack at the Ford” began, and Glorfindel’s horse carried the wounded Frodo across the river. Many of you will remember from the book that this is where Frodo falls as the pursuing Nazgul drown.


At Mile 452, at around 2 p.m., Frodo’s company meets the Elves that have been sent from Rivendell, and they take Frodo on ahead as the rest of the company follows on foot. Five miles later, at Mile 457, the group comes to a sudden cliff and into the valley of Rivendell. One mile later, at around 4 p.m., Frodo reaches Rivendell, being carried by Elves. The rest of the group arrives later that evening. Thus completes the 458-mile journey from Bag End to Rivendell.


During the next calendar year, I hope to “travel” the 462 miles from Rivendell, through Moria, to Lothlorien, which is the forest realm of the Elves between Rivendell and Mordor. To pull this off in a year’s time, I’m going to need to log at least 8.9 miles per week, that is, a little more than a mile a day. If I keep up what I’ve been doing, I’m sure I can pull it off.


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

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