The M-22 Challenge : bike – run – paddle : Are you up to the Challenge?
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2011 Media Releases

2011 M-22 Challenge Final Media Release

Jeff Smoke, another Olympic Athlete wins the M-22 Challenge!

The growing run-bike-paddle event draws a diverse group of talented athletes from around the country and brings families and friends together to share the Challenge in beautiful Northern Michigan.

Glen Arbor, MI 6/11/2011 – At 8am, 548 athletes took off from the start line on M-109 in Glen Arbor and prepared to race up the Sleeping Bear Dunes “Dune Climb.” It would only be the start of a challenging event which also includes a 17.5 mile bike race around Big and Little Glen Lake and a 2.5 mile paddle in Little Glen Lake.

The battle for the number one spot in the 2011 M-22 Challenge took place in the water between U.S. Olympic team Kayaker Jeff Smoke of Chicago, 2010 M-22 Challenge Winner Dennis Paull of Cheboygan, and Steve Andriese of Traverse City. Andriese, a strong cyclist, was the first to come back to the transition area from the bike and secured a lead going into the water on his stand up paddleboard. Not far behind, Smoke and Paull caught up and took first (1:15) and second (1:19) respectively and Andriese took third (1:20).

Keri Pawielski of Niles, MI took home the overall women’s first place (1:24) and Queen of the Dune trophy for the third consecutive year. When asked if she plans to compete in 2012, she exclaimed, “Yes! I’m so looking forward to next year!” Between M-22 Challenges, Pawielski also competes in Ironman races. Katy Tomczk of Big Rapids, and Ranae Ihme of Glen Arbor, took second (1:40) and third (1:42) in the women’s overall. Tomczk participated with friends who also compete in the “Mud Run” and “Warrior Dash”.

The M-22 Challenge attracts competitive athletes as well as those who just want to conquer the Challenge. When 18 year old Bryan Applin’s bike broke down during the race, he thought, “I just want to finish this race,” and made a quick decision to ditch his bike and run the next 11 miles back to the transition area while others cycled past. The Monroe, MI native laughed at the finish, “Inspiration Point is bigger when you have to run up it!”

77 year old finisher Bo Clampitt of Thompsonville told us, “I just like the challenge and I do it to fight old age.” Clampitt, who came with his family, says he wants to go for it again next year too.

For many, it was a family event. 13 year old Ben Osborn of Ferndale did the race with his mom and stopped just before the finish line to wait for her so they could finish hand in hand. Mike Tanielian 68, of Glen Arbor and daughter Pamela Houtemann also did the race as a family for their second year in a row. “The whole idea was to train and race with my daughter and try to do my best.” Tanilelian passed his daughter at the end but credits his newer kayak.

While many participants are local, others came from thousands of miles away. Travelling all the way from Southern California, Amanda Silverio said she visited Northern Michigan this winter and after learning about M-22, she wanted to come back to support the area and get outside. “It was awesome!” she exclaimed after racing with her boyfriend and friends.

M-22 Challenge participants came from 15 states this year and event coordinators, Matt and Keegan Myers of M-22, expect that number to grow next year.

 

About the M-22 Challenge and M-22:

The M-22 Challenge, is a multi-discipline event based in beautiful Leelanau County in Northern Michigan designed to challenge athletes against the natural terrain and environmental elements of the area. The 2011 Event is sponsored by Merrell and Britten Gear. www.m22challenge.com. Founded by kiteboarders in search of epic wind and waves, M-22 was created to express the common passion for Northern Michigan. M-22 is not just a road; it’s a way of life. Its bays, beaches and bonfires, dunes and vineyards, cottages, friends and family. It is the feeling you get when you realize there is no other place you would rather be. www.m22online.com

Press Contact: Stephanie Zalucha, Media Director, stephanie.zalucha@gmail.com

 


2011 Media Release 2

This Saturday: Third Annual M-22 Challenge

Exciting event, to take place this weekend, June 11th, 2011 in Glen Arbor, invites spectators and athletes to enjoy the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and the run-bike-paddle event challenge.

Traverse City, Michigan June 9th, 2011 – M-109 near Glen Lake will be closed this Saturday beginning at 8:00am in order for the shot gun start of the 3rd Annual M-22 Challenge. At 8:00am, event participants will cross the start line on M-109 near the event site, Little Glen Lake Picnic Area, on foot –and so begins M-22 Challenge!

Athletes will run south on M-109 and into the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park Shore “Dune Climb” park where they will face a steep and sandy dune climb. The first male and female to reach the top will be named King and Queen of the Dune at the award ceremony following the event. At the top, athletes will soak in the breathtaking view for a few seconds before sprinting down the dune and running back to the transition area for the biking portion.

The bike course is takes athletes 17 miles around Big and Little Glen Lake where participants will challenge Inspiration Point, pedal through downtown Glen Arbor, sections of the Crystal River, and of course, M-22. The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department will lead the first bikers around the course and volunteers will be at all major intersections. The roads will reopen for the bike portion so motorists should use caution when passing bikers, exiting driveways, and crossing intersections.

Next, athletes transition to the paddle event where they will race for 2.5 miles in crystal clear Little Glen Lake in kayaks and on stand up paddleboards. Before reaching land, athletes will exit their watercraft and run on to the shore and through the finish line for a must see splash finish.

Spectators will be able to witness the entire event from the event site and cheer participants on as they start the weekend in one of Michigan’s most beautiful areas. There will be music and announcements throughout the event and an award ceremony will follow. Awards and prizes, like GoPro Cameras, will be presented to the overall top 3 male and female finishers as well as the top 3 male and female finishers in all age groups. An anonymous ‘09 and ‘10 podium finisher told us, ”All I want is one of your trophies. They are the best of any races I’ve ever done!” We admit: The trophies are pretty nice!

Competitors must check-in on June 9th from 5-7pm at the M22 shop in downtown Traverse City, June 10th from 5-8pm at the M22 shop in downtown Glen Arbor, or June 11th from 6:30-7:15am at the event site.

Competitors and spectators are asked to park in the “Dune Climb” parking lot. No parking is allowed at the event site or on the side of the road. There will be a shuttle service between the “Dune Climb” parking lot and the event site and a special needs parking available. Be prepared for traffic lines the morning of the event and if possible, purchase your National Park parking pass before the event. Passes can be purchased at event Check-In in Glen Arbor or at the park offices.

 

About the M-22 Challenge and M-22:

The M-22 Challenge, is a multi-discipline event based in beautiful Leelanau County in Northern Michigan designed to challenge athletes against the natural terrain and environmental elements of the area. The 2011 Event is sponsored by Merrell and Britten Gear. www.m22challenge.com.

Founded by kiteboarders in search of epic wind and waves, M-22 was created to express the common passion for Northern Michigan. M-22 is not just a road; it’s a way of life. Its bays, beaches and bonfires, dunes and vineyards, cottages, friends and family. It is the feeling you get when you realize there is no other place you would rather be. www.m22online.com

Press Contact: Stephanie Zalucha, Media Director, stephanie.zalucha@gmail.com


2011 Media Release 1

550 Athletes to Race in the 3rd Annual M-22 Challenge, June 11th
Sold out, the M-22 Challenge, a multi-disciple event in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore, grows in length, excitement, and participants.

Traverse City, Michigan May 6th, 2011 – Two years ago today, the First Annual M-22 Challenge, was still accepting registrants to fill up the 200 slots it had planned for the race.  The M-22 Challenge had just 130 registrants on event day in 2009.

This year, when registration for 400 available spots opened on March 1st, all of them were nabbed up within 6 hours.   Due to an overwhelming reaction from athletes who did not get to register, the M-22 Challenge opened up another 150 spots which disappeared within 20 minutes.

“When the event filled up that fast, we were surprised and excited to see such a huge response.  Last year we had 300 athletes, this year, we’ve jumped to 550. ” Matt Myers, Event Founder, affirmed. “We have registrants from 15 states this year ranging from 12 to 69 years old.”

Myers and his brother Keegan, Event Co-Founder, agree that much of the M-22 Challenge growth can be credited to the passion their company, M-22, and the participants share for Northern Michigan as well as to the social media buzz.

With the increase in participants, comes an increase in event support.  Merrill, Brittan Gear, Huntington Bank, PNC Bank, and MBank are some of this year’s major sponsors along with several local businesses who are also supporting the event:  Centre Street Café, Phils on Front, The Camera Shop, Funestrada, and Cherry Capital Subaru.  Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Other partners, such as Crystal River Outfitters and Porterhouse Productions are volunteering their time to the event.  Andy Gale, founder of Bay Area Recycling says his “main role [as an event partner] is to coordinate the waste stream and divert as much of it as possible from being land filled.”  Volunteers are vital to the success of the event and more are needed.  If you are interested in volunteering, please visit the M-22 Challenge website to sign up. “The M-22 Challenge volunteers are all super motivated, excited for this event, and happy to be working on this – always a good sign.” Gale confirms.

Among other new happenings for 2011, the course order has been improved and the course length has increased.  The event will now begin with the running portion leading athletes up Sleeping Bear Dune Climb and then into the transition area for a picturesque and competitive bike around Big and Little Glen Lake.  The race will commence with a paddle event in crystal clear, Little Glen Lake.  Fittingly, the length of the 2011 course will now be 22 miles.

For those that didn’t get in this year, keep your eyes peeled for a fall event.

About the M-22 Challenge and M-22:
The M-22 Challenge, is a multi-discipline event based in beautiful Leelanau County in Northern Michigan designed to challenge athletes against the natural terrain and environmental elements of the area.  The 2011 Event will take place in Glen Arbor at 8am, 6/11/11. www.m22challenge.com

Founded by kiteboarders in search of epic wind and waves, M-22 was created to express the common passion for Northern Michigan.  M-22 is not just a road; it’s a way of life.  Its bays, beaches and bonfires, dunes and vineyards, cottages, friends and family.  It is the feeling you get when you realize there is no other place you would rather be. www.m22online.com

Press Contacts:
Stephanie Zalucha, Media Director
stephanie.zalucha@gmail.com