Saturday, September 17, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 894 miles down and 905 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 and five more miles on Wednesday. So far, I’ve logged 894 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 905 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 49.7 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 25th day of the trip past Rivendell, which is Jan. 17 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 884, which was three miles from where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, passed through an open glade, still blindfolded by the elves of Lothlorien. Four miles later, the group camps at the end of the day, Jan. 16, sleeping on the ground, still blindfolded.


The following day, Jan. 17, begins at Mile 888, as the group continues along the path, blindfolded. I’ve covered six miles past this point, to Mile 894, and the next significant milestone, Mile 906, comes 12 miles later, where at noon in a clearing, the group meets a company of elves and has their blindfolds removed. They climb to the top of the hill of Cerin Amroth, where they spent about two hours.


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 436 miles since the start of the calendar year. Yesterday was the 38th Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 11.5 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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