Run or walk, bike and paddle for 22 miles through the “Most Beautiful Place in America” this summer. The M-22 Challenge is a multi-sport event that any person of average physical ability can complete. All you need is the motivation.
Here’s the scoop on how to register and what to expect from the coolest triathlon-style event in northern Michigan.
It’s only a race if you want it to be.
In the four years since the first running of the M-22 Challenge, the event has grown in popularity across a wide spectrum people who love fitness and the beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes.
M-22 founders bill the event as challenging, but not impossible, for anyone who has their own bike, helmet, kayak (or stand-up paddleboard) and the willingness to participate.
Last year, 800 people took part in the 4th annual M-22 Challenge. They included first time racers, high school athletes and professional triathlon competitors of all age groups.
This June, the M-22 Challenge will begin again at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore park (aka Little Glen Lake Picnic Area) located on the northwest corner of Little Glen Lake at 8:00 am.
From there, according to the M-22 Challenge website, racers will run (or walk) south down M-109 and into the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore “Dune Climb” park to face a steep and sandy climb up the dune. The second portion requires athletes to bike 17 miles around Big and Little Glen Lake and through downtown Glen Arbor. Transitioning from a bike to the water, the third and final portion of the event has participants paddling out and back into Little Glen Lake for 2.5 miles. Athletes are only allowed to use one (1) paddle to hand power their chosen craft (kayak, standup paddle board, or anything else you can dream up). The 22 mile-long course is designed to take the average athlete approximately two hours to complete.
Registration costs $110, which includes entry for one athlete, event shirt, event bag and use of timing chip. Athletes are required to supply their own bikes (road bikes or mountain bikes) and helmet (mandatory) as well as their own water transportation (kayak/canoe/stand up paddle board/etc) and paddle. Kayak and bike rentals are available prior to the race through Crystal River Outfitters.
For more information and to register, check out the M-22 Challenge website.