- This event has passed.
The 6th Annual M-22 Challenge is a biking, paddling and running challenge in and around Glen Lake and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The Course: Run – Bike – Paddle
The 22 mile-long course is designed to take the average athlete approximately two hours to complete. The M-22 Challenge begins at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore park (Little Glen Lake Picnic Area) located on the northwest corner of Little Glen Lake at 8am.
Run: The event starts with the running portion where athletes run 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 reward at the top is the view! Competitors then catch their breath in a fun run down the dune and along a groomed trail to M-109. On the road, runners sprint back to the event site and transition area to complete the 2.5 mile run. Approximately half of the run takes place on pavement.
Bike: The second portion requires athletes to bike 17 miles around Big and Little Glen Lake. Bike highlights include a pedal through downtown Glen Arbor, cycling along sections of the Crystal River and the famous M22, including Inspiration Point. The Leelanau County Sheriffs Department leads the first few bikers around the course, but the rest of the pack is on their own. There are volunteers at all major intersections, but you must follow traffic laws and be aware of cars pulling in and out of driveways.
Paddle: 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, anything else you can dream up). A two blade paddle is allowed, but in no way can the paddle be fixed to the craft. At the end of the paddle portion, athletes jump out of their boats and run through the water to the finish line.
The top three finishers in both Male & Female Overall Divisions and the Top Three Place Finishers of each age group receive trophies. Recognition also goes to the “King of the Dune,” “Queen of the Dune” and the “I Finished the M-22 Challenge” participants with a trophy. The King of the Dune and Queen of the Dune are determined by the first male and female runner to reach the top of the dune climb.
Registration for the 2014 M22 Challenge is full but it’s great for spectators!
Empire is along the shores of Lake Michigan where M-22 intersects with M-72, about 45 minutes from Traverse City.