Friday, April 14, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,209 miles down and 590 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 15 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Sunday, five miles on Thursday and five more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,209 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 590 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 67.2 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the seventh day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 22 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1194, which was 14 miles past where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, reached the lowlands between the downs and the Emyn Muil. Eleven miles later, at Mile 1205, the group decided to make camp and spent the daylight hours of Feb. 22 there.


The group resumes its journey at dusk when they take to the river again and begin to paddle cautiously. I’ve traveled four miles past this point and the next significant milestone, Mile 1210, comes one mile later where the banks grow stony as the hills north of the Emyn Muil rise on the eastern shore. In all, the group travels 50 miles in about 13 hours on Feb. 22.


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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