Friday, August 19, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 834 miles down and 965 miles to go

21st Hall of Moria.

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 17 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked six miles on Sunday, five miles on Wednesday and six more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 834 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 965 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 46.4 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 22nd day of the trip past Rivendell, which is Jan. 14 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 817, which was six miles beyond where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, took a brief halt after having to jump a seven-foot fissure. One mile later, at Mile 818, the group camps at the end of Day 21 when they reach a junction of three passages with a guardroom. The group sets up camp in the guard room around 1 a.m.


Around 8 a.m. on the following day, Day 22, the group leaves the guardroom and takes the right-hand passage. Five miles later, at Mile 823, the road climbs in great mounting curves with no side passages. The group takes a break and five miles later, at Mile 828, the group stops for lunch and a rest. Five miles later, at Mile 833, the group stops again for another break.


I’ve covered one mile passed this point, to Mile 834, and the next significant milestone comes four miles later, at Mile 838, when the group reaches the 21st Hall of the North End, where they camp overnight at the end of the day’s travels.


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 17 miles this week and 376 miles since the start of the calendar year. Today was the 34th Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 11.1 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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