Friday, February 26, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 535 miles down and 1,264 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 more miles on Wednesday and five miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 535 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,264 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 29.7 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the fifth night of the trip past Rivendell, which is the night of Dec. 29-Dec. 30 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 522, which was three miles from where the Fellowship camps during the day of Dec. 29.


I reached that point, Mile 525, on Sunday. The paths are this point are few and winding and the group decides to camp here throughout the day on Dec. 29. The camp breaks camp when the sun goes down and continues to travel by night on what is Night Five of this leg of the journey.


Three miles from this point, at Mile 528, the group reaches the top of a rise and begins to angle southeast. In all on Night Five, the group covers a total of 15 miles and I’ve covered about seven miles of that distances. The next significant milestone comes at Mile 540, where the group camps in a thicket of thorn bushes during the day of Dec. 30.


So far, I’m on track to travel the 462 miles from Rivendell to Lothlorien, which is the forest realm of the Elves, between Rivendell and Mordor, within the 2016 calendar year. 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 and 77 miles since the start of the calendar year.


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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