A Hobbit Adventure (Days 1 and 2)

Hi all, Samwise here (Not Dan as the blog post entry would have you believe) – while Dan (Frodo) is off galavanting around Middle-Earth, I wanted to provide a quick update from last weekend I’ve only just had chance to write up (sorry it’s a little late…)

I assume most of you are familiar with the story of the Lord of the Rings? If not, this whole adventure will make very little sense and will be full of references that may confuse and confound you.

The challenge its self is a fairly basic concept – start at point A, proceed to travel on foot, while carrying the One Ring to point B over a period of about 26 days, all the while with limited supplies and support on route. Oh, I should mention too; point A is the finish line of the Manchester Marathon, which provided a hefty 26.2 mile warm-up (26.49 if my Garmin is to be trusted) and point B is located some 500+ miles away (Mordor, Germany)

This entry covers the short stretch where Frodo was accompanied by fellow hobbit – Samwise the Brave.

10/04/16, this was the date of the Manchester Marathon and the start of this adventure, the starting gun fired at 9am signalling for the front runners to set off! Eventually – about 10 minutes later – Frodo and Samwise managed to shuffle their way through the crowd to the start line and away we went! Keeping eyes peeled for Mt Doom along the way (just in case) we made our way over the perilous 49ft of incline and cheering crowds of supporters along the route… It was harder than it sounds. Honest.

Making mental notes and chuckling at the various cheers from big folk unfamiliar with the LotR universe; there were plenty of cheers Robin Hood, the caped crusader, Harry Potter, and various other franchises all mashed into the few hours we were running, there were also several supporters cheering for Bilbo, which, while a somewhat more justified mistake, caused my hobbit companion to develop the catch phrase “No! I’m the other one, damnit!” This amused me.

Once we hit the finish line, we proceeded to find a local tavern; we had of course been running throughout what would ordinarily have been breakfast, elevenses, late breakfast and luncheon so naturally it was time for a well-earned bite to eat, after which Samwise concluded that an automobile would be the best way to reach the next stop (Buxton) while Mr Frodo opted to stick to his guns and run this section of the journey too.

I can’t really speak for this section of the journey as I was sat in a heated car looking out at the weather conditions through a windscreen though I immediately realised how harsh the run back must have been when Frodo eventually did catch up; with a hilarious increase in incline after we split up and after covering a total distance of about 57 miles over the day, he looked broken and wanted nothing more than to sleep it off so he could get ready for what lay ahead on Day 2.

Day 2 began and we started the day with a healthy bowl of porridge and dried fruit, Frodo, being a natural PT proceeded to talk at me with relation to the health benefits of different types of fruit in the morning but being somewhat of a couch potato most of the time myself however, my brain was doing a Homer Simpson and shouting at me: “Eat the food! Eat the food! Eat the food!” so in response to his ramblings, I largely just smiled and nodded, hopefully he’ll never realise I wasn’t really listening.

Having rested and eaten, we set out to start the next day’s adventure! But about a mile in, we realized what time it was and had to stop for elevenses. Take 2, and away we went! We started down the main road but were in constant pursuit by Nazgûl and lorries… Mostly lorries admittedly but still, we concluded it was best to stay off the roads, this unfortunately left us without signposts and we were forced to navigate our own way (with varying degrees of success…)

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Continuing on, we decided to venture upward! (We were in the peak district at this point of course so this was a direction that was difficult to avoid even if we wanted to) but heading upward, we decided, would give us the best view of the land and allow us to make educated guesses rather than wild ones as to which route we should take.

We were ascending for some time, climbing and battling the elements as we went (it gets very windy up there!) but when we eventually reached the highest peak were able to take in the sights and sounds of the world around us, in hind sight, this would have been a good opportunity to stop for lunch, but alas, we had forgotten to take the lembas bread with us.

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Unfortunately we could not stay long; by nightfall, these hills would be swarming with Orcs… Having taken just enough some time to work out where we were and were we were going we set out again, this time, downhill and with renewed vigour!

We knew we needed to make haste, for we were due at the Prancing Pony that evening to meet with Gandalf and we were late into the afternoon now so we pressed on at blistering speed! … Or something about blisters anyway… I forget exactly, it’s been a few days now.

Some few hours later, we made finally it. The Prancing Pony.

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Unfortunately, no sign of Gandalf. Presumably he got distracted while catching up with Saruman elsewhere, I hear they’re good mates and he probably just lost track of time over a pint or two. No big, instead, I guess we’ll go to the elves and rely on their hospitality instead. The only question is… Which way do we go from here…

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Unfortunately, when we arrived in Rivendale, it was getting late and Elrond would have to wait until morning. Frodo set up camp  there that night to get some sleep and ready himself for day 3’s adventure – he’d need his sleep that night – the journey of the ring, and the burden that comes with it lies solely with Frodo from here on out… Unfortunately Samwise had work the next day and had to hitch a lift back to The Shire.

Good luck with the days you have left Mr Frodo! And if anyone would like to donate to East Cheshire Hospice – who are the reason behind this whole adventure – please click the link below for his Just Giving Page.

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