The original tradition started with the local ultra running community. The Purge & Splurge was their way of getting in a long run (the “purge”) before splurging at whatever NYE parties they had planned. The original purge was running the entire 30.1 mile length of Wildwood Trail, and a few more motivated individuals would opt to run it out-back for 60+ miles. I’m pretty sure that always seemed like a better idea than it was in reality…
While a hand full of ultra runners are still out there continuing the tradition, TRL has modified the purge over the years so that it is more accessible to people who may not want to run 30 (or 60) miles. The goal is still to have everyone show up to run some distance that they consider to be a long “purge” to wrap up the year. But the distance options are a little more do-able: 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 mile distances are available. All you have to do is decide how far you plan to run, show up at the finish location at 8:30, and then carpool to the starting point (Newberry Road, mile 30.1 of Wildwood Trail) for a group start at 9:00am.
For starting locations or more info, go to this thread on message board for all of the details.
Since NYE is on a Saturday this year, I am imagining we will have an even larger group than usual. So if you want to get one final mileage purge in before 2017 arrives, decide on the distance you feel like running, post it so people know you will be there, and we will see you out on Wildwood for a long run to wrap up 2016.