Friday, December 30, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,070 miles down and 729 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 24 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles Saturday, five miles on Sunday, five miles on Monday, three miles on Wednesday and six more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,070 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 729 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 59.5 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 1,046, which was six miles from where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, sees the River Anduin broaden. Seventeen miles later, at Mile 1,063, the group reaches the North Undeep with stony beaches on the east and gravel shoals in the water. The group proceeds carefully through this area.


Seven miles later, at Mile 1,070, the River Limlight enters the River Anduin on the west. The next significant milestone, Mile 1,072, comes two miles later when the group reaches the high wolds of the Brown Lands on the east. From here, they can see downs to the west.


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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