M-22 Challenge returns June 13

Photo courtesy Beth Price Photography

From staff reports

Voted the Best Endurance Event in Northern Michigan by Traverse Magazine, the M-22 Challenge has become the “must do” event for athletes of all calibers. This run-bike-paddle race is hosted in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. This year’s M-22 Challenge will take place on Saturday, June 13, at 8 a.m.

This unique multi-sport event will challenge all athletes, from first time racers to professional competitors. The M-22 Challenge is a run, bike, paddle event. Aside from the physical challenge, the overwhelming beauty of the race course and the camaraderie of fellow racers will make this event that its 900 participants won’t forget.

The M-22 Challenge begins at the Little Glen Lake Picnic Area. Athletes will run south down M-109 and onto the “Dune Climb” to face a steep and sandy climb up the dune. The reward at the top is the view. Competitors will then run down the dune and along a groomed trail to M-109. On the road, runners will sprint back to the event site and transition area to complete the 2.5-mile run.

The bike portion is 17 miles around Big and Little Glen Lake. This course takes competitors through downtown Glen Arbor, along sections of the Crystal River, and of course, a monster climb up Inspiration Point.

Transitioning from a bike to the water, the third and final portion of the event is by far the most challenging. Participants paddle out and back into Little Glen Lake for 2.5 miles. Athletes are only allowed to use one paddle to hand power their chosen craft (kayak, standup paddle board, anything else you can dream up!) At the end of the paddle portion, athletes will jump out of their boats and run through the water to the finish line.