Tolkien News

Tolkien Fans Race for Charity with the LOTR Virtual Villains Challenge

Want to get fit, raise money for charity, and defeat Middle-earth villains? Then join our news team as we muster for the LOTR Virtual Villains Challenge!

The LOTR (Loving Otherworldly Themed Races) Virtual Villains Challenge is a virtual event to raise money for RESULTS, a leading advocacy force in ending poverty by empowering citizens to speak to Congress. This means all Tolkien fans, from anywhere around the world, have a unique chance to unite and help combat poverty.

You decide whether you want to run, jog, walk, or even “sneak” the Dragon race (5K), the Demon race (10K), or the Flaming Eye race (13.1 mile). You get all the benefits of being active AND a shiny medal even Smaug himself would be jealous of, while the proceeds go to charity.


These are real, actual, shiny medals you can hold in your hand and wear around your neck with pride! You can expect your medal to arrive by late December 2013.

How It Works

You register online to compete in the Dragon race (5K), the Demon race (10K), and/or the Flaming Eye race (13.1 mi). The cost of registration, which covers the cost of your medal and the charitable proceeds, is $25 per race or $70 for all three races.

Registration for this event closes on October 31, and you are encouraged to finish your race(s) before November 30. Since it’s a virtual challenge, no proof of completion is needed, and you can complete the challenge in any way that works for you. You can choose to walk your race all at once or spread it out over several days. You can run or jog the entire race or portions of it. You can use a treadmill or hike a mountain. The point is to outpace those villains! Take on whatever kind of challenge is both safe and inspiring for you.

The Minds Behind It

Grassroots Development Associate for RESULTS Educational Fund, Cindy Changyit Levin, took some time to share with us her reasons for becoming involved. “Jennifer DeFranco and I created this virtual run as a fun way that people can come together from anywhere to do something healthy and help support RESULTS’ work to end poverty at the same time.” Levin added, “We wanted a whole new group of people to hear about RESULTS who might not normally be engaged with advocacy. Plus, we personally really enjoy Tolkien.

So, just what does RESULTS do? “RESULTS Educational Fund  teaches and empowers everyday people to communicate with their members of Congress,” Levin explained. “Volunteers learn how to respectfully and passionately lobby for smart, efficient programs that help people to lift themselves out of poverty in the U.S. and around the world. Our successful efforts to influence Congress on child survival, global AIDS, early childhood education, and other issues are transforming millions of lives on a grand scale.”

What do RESULTS, running, and The Lord of the Rings have in common?  Levin replied, “Persistence. Runners, hobbits, and anti-poverty advocates all have it within themselves to dig deep when the going is tough. The idea of facing incredible odds is exciting rather than disheartening to them.


Image copyright Jennifer DeFranco and used with permission.

Join Us!

For the Middle-earth News team, Arwen, Lily, Myla, and Rachel are taking up the challenge! We are all setting our own personal goals as we go for the Dragon medal (we can’t help it; it’s our favorite). While some of us may do our race all in one go, others will use it as an excuse to hit the gym more, and one of us is training up to being able to run a whole 5K without stopping or walking.

And we want you to join us! After you register, join the LOTR Virtual Runs Facebook Event where you can find and print your own race bib and share your race photos and results with other racers. You can also tweet your results to @RESULTS_Tweets with the hashtag #EverydayHero along with any pictures you take doing it.

Don’t forget to keep us updated as well! We’d love to hear your stories and see your photos. To contact us with your personal LOTR Virtual Villains Challenge story, use one of the following methods below:

Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Tumblr | Email:

For more information, visit the LOTR (Loving Otherworldly Themed Races) Virtual Villains Challenge website or the LOTR Virtual Runs Facebook Event.

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One Comment

  1. Great Idea!