Saturday, December 3, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,030 miles down and 769 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 10 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Sunday and five miles yesterday (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,030 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 769 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 57.3 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the fourth day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 19 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1,020, which was three miles from where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, was to camp in the flats north of the Field of Celebrant at the end of the day on Feb. 18. I reached this milestone, Mile 1,023, on Sunday.


The group resumed their travels on the river early in the morning on Feb. 19. The group felt urgent and paddled all day. I’ve covered seven miles past this point, all the way to Mile 1,030. In all on Feb. 19, the group covers a total distance of 60 miles in 13 hours. The next significant milestone will come 10 miles later at Mile 1,037, which is where the river broadens as the day continues to be gray and overcast.


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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