Friday, April 1, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 588 miles down and 1,211 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 11 more miles since my last update. I jogged five miles on Sunday, walked three yesterday (Thursday) and jogged three more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 588 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,211 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 32.6 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the ninth night of the trip past Rivendell, which is the night of Jan. 1-Jan. 2 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 577, which was one mile from where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship, spotted another snowcapped peak lying to the east. I reached that point, Mile 120, last Sunday.


Seven miles later, at Mile 127, I reached the point where the group camped during the day of Jan. 1. The group resumed its journey the following night and three miles later, at Mile 130, the group crossed a small stream that flowed west into a swampy area. The next significant milestone comes 12 miles later, at Mile 142, when the group camps at the end of the day, Jan. 2. This entire day is noted for continued cold, gray and windy weather.


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 11 miles this week and 130 miles since the start of the calendar year. Today is the 14th Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 9.3 miles per week up to this point.


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

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