The second challenge in the series went quickly… it is definitely easier when you have a partner. We covered 157 kilometres (98 miles) in short order.

The Fellowship Virtual Challenge takes you on Frodo and Sam’s journey from The Prancing Pony to The Doors of Durin. In Rivendell, Frodo accepts the task of carrying the One Ring to Mordor, and a company called the Fellowship of the Ring is selected to help him on his quest.

I have absolutely nothing deep to share at this juncture, so I am simply going to list my ranking of the members of the Fellowship, in order of personal preference:

  1. Gimli. I’m all in for a dwarf. He feels things deeply, he lives life intensely. “Roaring Fires, Malt Beer, Ripe Meat Off The Bone!” and “Certainty Of Death? Small Chance Of Success? What Are We Waitin’ For?” Yes, I did have a Gimli helmet replica at home. Yes, I wore it on occasion;
  2. Boromir. Sean Bean needs to stop dying at the beginning of things. It hurts, and the world needs him full time. Boromir is flawed and things don’t work out well for him, and I can embrace that. I want his bracers and I am proud of the fact that I have resisted buying a set for more than a decade (but still have the original site I found them on bookmarked and keep thinking about it). I know that Aragorn feels the same way I do, because he took the bracers off Boromir’s body and wore them through the rest of the trilogy;
  3. Pippin. Best hobbit. He might be a “fool of a Took”, but I feel for him. I’m the kind of person who drops stones down wells and wakes up Balrogs, is astonished to find that “it comes in pints”, lights the fireworks inside the tent, and foolishly asks about the likelihood of second breakfast. He sang for the Steward of Gondor and I cried (then added it to my playlist);
  4. Aragorn: He was true to his purpose from the start to the finish, from “I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fire of Mordor” to “My friends, you bow to no one.” Also, long legs;
  5. Gandalf: Personally, I think he and the eagles could have sorted this whole thing out on their own, and he made the Fellowship all hike cross country because he gets bored. He might be a bit of an asshat and someone needs to ask him some hard questions;
  6. Legolas: I like him as a foil for Gimli, but I have always distrusted Elves. I have issues. Also, he’s too pretty;
  7. Sam: It’s easier to like him than Frodo. No saviour complex, occasionally fallible, and trying very hard in the face of problems that are way too big for him;
  8. Frodo. It’s probably unfair to rank him so low, but I sometimes have trouble liking the heroes of stories. He did the job, and I’m happy, but I don’t want to hang with him; and
  9. Merry. Even more unfair… I never developed strong feelings about Merry. The stories seems to shortchange him in content, like he was only there to round out the nine.

Here’s the medal…