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New Years Eve – Time to Purge!

New Years Eve is almost upon us. For those in the know, that means it’s almost time to take to Wildwood Trail and challenge yourself one last time before 2012 is in the rearview. It’s time for the Purge & Splurge!

Don’t know anything about the Purge & Splurge? All the info you need is in this message board thread. But the basics are this:

Date: Monday, December 31, 2012
Time: Meet at the location you plan to finish at 8:30. Carpool to the Newberry end of Wildwood, and everyone will start together at 9:00am.
Distances: 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 mile options. See the thread on the message board for details on where to meet for each of those distances.

The only other key piece of info I will tell you about this run is that there will be 2 to 3 aid drops along the route – so you don’t need to carry anything with you (unless you really like your camelback or handheld water bottle).

This year will be the 8th time I have run some distance of Wildwood as part of the Purge & Splurge tradition. My personal goal is to always challenge myself as much as possible. And while that means going for the gusto and attempting the whole distance, the biggest drawback to trying to do the 50k and being in shape to finish 20 miles. That means the final 10 miles tend to be pretty painful. The infamous “death march.”

I wouldn’t wish the death march on anyone. That’s why making sure you can complete whatever distance you select is important. There is always a large group of folks who plan on the 15 mile distance (ok, it’s really closer to 17 by the time you reach Saltzman Road and then run down the gravel raod/trail to your car at the gate). But this is a really good option if you want to get out there, do a decent length run, and be able to finish the distance you start.

And while I certainly don’t want to disuade anyone from doing the full monty, another nice option is the 25 mile option. This option puts you at the Lower MacLeay Trailhead, and essntially avoids the challenging final 4-5 miles to the zoo. If you have ever run from Balch Creek up and over Pittock and through the Hoyt Arboretum to the zoo, you know the segment I am talking about. Definitely a brutal end to a long run.

BUT – if you are feeling tough and are up for a challenge, the full 30.1 miles of Wildwood is a great experience. If you are like me and spend a lot of time doing trail runs in Forest Park, you probably have a few small segments of the trail you rarely (if ever) see. This is your chance to see the whole thing and know without a doubt that you haven’t miss any of it.

So who’s up for a New Years Eve day challenge? Time to purge so that you can splurge with whatever plans you have for New Years Eve. I know my splurge won’t wait until midnight. After a long run, it’s time for a burger, a beer and a nap. However you decide to splurge, don’t forget to make plans for joining us on the Purge.

If you plan to join, please post what distance you plan to run in either the thread on the message board or on facebook. That will allow others who want to run the same distance to see that they are not alone.

See you out there!

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