Friday, March 10, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,144 miles down and 655 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 four miles on Sunday, three more miles Wednesday and three more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,144 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 655 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 63.6 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the fifth day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 20 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1134, which was four miles past the point where dusk fell. Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, continued through much of the night, paddling cautiously.


Six miles later, at Mile 1140, the group reached the downs on the far east bank. At this point, there are hills on the Wold on the near bank. Two miles beyond that, at Mile 1142, the group reaches the north edge of the western South Undeep. So far, I’ve traveled two miles past that, to Mile 1144, and the next significant milestone will come six miles later, at Mile 1150, when the group reaches the steep north face of the south downs, an inner ridge that is hidden in the dark.


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 10 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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