Friday, January 13, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,076 miles down and 723 miles to go

Gollum from "The Lord of the Rings"
I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging just three more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Sunday. So far, I’ve logged 1,076 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 723 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 59.6 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 1,073, which is one mile past where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, reaches the high wolds of the Brown Lands on the east. From here, they can see downs to the west.


Three miles later, at Mile 1,075, Boromir mutters to himself and, just at dusk, Sam spots Gollum on a log. So far, I’ve traveled one mile beyond that point, taking me to Mile 1,076. The next significant milestone, Mile 1,084, comes eight miles later where the group camps on a small eyot near the river’s western shore. Sam and Frodo pull watch duty, and Gollum appears during Frodo’s watch. Aragorn wakes and watches until the morning.


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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