Friday, July 15, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 773 miles down and 1,026 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 773 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,026 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 43.0 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 20th day of the trip past Rivendell, which is Jan. 12 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 758, which was four miles from where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, turned west, away from the path they took up to Redhorn Pass. Ten miles later, the group turned more southwest around the foothills of the Silvertine.


I’ve covered five miles beyond this point, and the next significant milestone comes five miles later, at Mile 778, which is where the group stops around 6 p.m. to eat, camp and debate their next move at the end of Jan. 12.


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 315 miles since the start of the calendar year. Today was the 29th Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 10.9 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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