Saturday, June 25, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 736 miles down and 1,063 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 15 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked five miles on Sunday, five miles on Wednesday and five more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 736 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,063 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 40.1 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 18th night of the trip past Rivendell, which is the night of Jan. 10-Jan. 11 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 721, which was four miles from the point where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, ended their travels on Night 17 and camped during the day on Jan. 10. I reached that point on Sunday.


After breaking camp and starting the Night 18 leg of their journey, the group reached the next significant milestone eight miles later, at Mile 733, which is where the road begins to climb still higher. I’ve covered three miles from this point, taking me to Mile 736. The next significant milestone comes six miles later, when the group reaches Mile 742.


At this point, the group is almost at the feet of the Red Horn, and here they camp during the day of Jan. 11. It’s here that Gandalf and Aragorn debate over which path to take. The wind also begins to turn toward the northwest and black clouds form during the afternoon.


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 15 miles this week and 278 miles since the start of the calendar year. Today is the 26th Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 10.6 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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