Monday, July 25, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 783 miles down and 1,016 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 10 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked five miles on Sunday (July 17) and five more miles on Friday (July 22). So far, I’ve logged 783 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,016 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 43.5 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 21st day of the trip past Rivendell, which is Jan. 13 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 773, which was five miles beyond where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, turned southwest around the foothills of the Silvertine. Five miles later, at Mile 778, the group stopped around 6 p.m. to eat, camp and debate.


At this point the journey, the wind is cold and the group hears wargs! The group climbs to the top of a hill above them and then enters a ring of stones with gnarled threes within. Not long after, the wargs gather and attack just before dawn.


The group leaves this point around 8 a.m. and heads south-southeast toward the Sirannon, a stream that’s also known as the Gate Stream. Five miles later, at Mile 783, the group enters a barren country of red stones. The next significant milestone comes five miles later, at Mile 787, where the group reaches the Sirannon around 11 a.m. on Jan. 13.


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 10 miles this week and 325 miles since the start of the calendar year. This past Friday was the 30th Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 10.8 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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