‘Lord of the Rings’ virtual challenge: Where fitness meets fantasy

by Susan and Simon Veness

“Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy is the inspiration for a new virtual fitness challenge that puts the fate of the One Ring into the hands (and feet) of participants, with the goal of taking it into Mordor.

lord of the rings challenge medals
Photos courtesy of The Conqueror Virtual Challenges

The Conqueror, creators of Virtual Challenges international gamified fitness events, has collaborated with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and on April 6, 2022 they announced the newest five-challenge event in their lineup, based on the epic “Lord of the Rings” quest.

Participants exercise in distances that are equal to those the trilogy’s characters  Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee traveled, from Bag End in The Shire to the land of Mordor in their quest to cast the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom.

A custom-made map of Middle-earth on The Conqueror Virtual Challenges app takes adventurers on an immersive journey along with Frodo and Sam, with the ability to track and log their own fitness progress – through running, biking, swimming, or walking a specified distance – which leads to unlocking the next challenge trail.

Lord of the Rings challenges and trail lengths

  • First challenge – Hobbiton to Bree (145 miles/233 km)
  • Second challenge – The Prancing Pony to the Doors of Durin (98 miles/157 km for walking or running; 680 miles/1094km for cycling)
  • Third challenge – Mines of Moria (40 miles/64 km)
  • Fourth challenge – The Eye of Sauron (95 miles/153 km for walking or running; 668 miles/1075 km for cycling)
  • Fifth challenge – Mordor to Mount Doom (282 miles/452 km)

Those who complete each portion of the journey will receive a tailor-made medal, plus a ring at the end of the first challenge. Complete all five and receive five distinctive medals.

Each challenge includes stories and postcards from the locations Frodo and Sam encountered during their quest.

Those who would like to create their own “fellowship” of at least two people who will join forces to help ensure their success can do so on the app.

Start in The Shire as the initial challenge, and receive a medal and a specially designed ring once completed. Just Frodo carried the ring throughout the duration of his journey, so too must participants keep their ring safe until the last challenge, when they can throw it into the fires of Mordor.

lord of the rings movie stills

Miles (or kilometers) can be tracked via the app on iOS and Android mobile devices.

While the experience is intended to be fun and fitness-oriented, there is also an eco-friendly aspect to each challenge. For every 20% of a trail each participant completes, The Conqueror will plant a tree or stop 10 plastic bottles from entering the ocean.

“We are really excited to announce our global launch of the “Lord of the Rings” virtual challenge series. Everyone loves the iconic film trilogy and we wanted to take our virtual challenge community on an epic adventure as they take the One Ring from The Shire to Mount Doom,” said Adam El-Agez, CEO of The Conqueror Virtual Challenges. “It’s a real intersection between fitness and fantasy, and we’re excited to immerse the fans into the world of Middle-earth.”

Participants can sign up for the challenges with a single entry (one code will access one challenge) or as a bundle of all five challenges.

The “Lord of the Rings” series of events will be available for a limited time. Details can be found on TheConquerorEvents.


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Jennifer Wolfley May 11, 2022 - 7:32 am

I would like to do this challenge

Bill Crawford November 23, 2022 - 6:10 am

I am at 101 miles left of this incredible fitness journey and honestly I am absolutely gutted!!! This has been an epic 5 challenge journey, brilliant updates and postcards with movie footage. The environmental side of things I went with plastic and so glad to have done my bit. I have done numerous Conquerer challenges (10+) and this one is the best. I really hope they follow up with the Hobbit as this would really round things off and maybe even a future Game of Thrones series………. please….. I would recommend this challenge to all fitness levels as you can complete with multiple disciplines, so the challenge remains fresh and avoids going stale.


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