Friday, June 10, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 711 miles down and 1,088 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 18 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked five miles on Saturday, three miles on Monday, five miles on Wednesday and five miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 711 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,088 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 39.5 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the seventeenth night of the trip past Rivendell, which is the night of Jan. 9-Jan. 10 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 693, which was two miles past where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, resumed their journey at the beginning of Night Sixteen. Thirteen miles later, at Mile 706, Frodo and Gandalf sense something flying over just before dawn.


Two miles later, at Mile 708, the group crosses a small stream and camps during the day of Jan. 9. This day is noteworthy for being sunnier, but colder. The group resumes their journey at the start of Night 17, and I’ve covered one mile from the start of that night’s journey. The next significant milestone comes one mile later, at Mile 712, which is where the road begins climbing as it winds into the hills.


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 18 miles this week and 253 miles since the start of the calendar year. Today is the 24th Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 10.5 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 nine more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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