The M-22 Challenge : bike – run – paddle : Are you up to the Challenge?
Subscribe | Log in

2014 Event Details

2014 Event Details


8am Saturday June 14, 2014

For directions to the event site (Little Glen Lake Picnic Area), please use the following address:
  6900 South Dune Highway, Empire, MI 49630-9447

This unique multi-sport event is challenging, but not impossible. Appropriate for any person of average physical capabilities from first time racers, to high school athletes and professional triathlon competitors, anyone looking for a healthy challenge will find this event of interest. Best of all, there’s no swimming required! The challenge is there for the competitive athlete, however, if you can walk, run, paddle, and bike, the overwhelming beauty of the area and the camaraderie of those attending will make this event worthy of your participation. Make the M-22 Challenge your goal for this summer.

Registration for the 2014 M22 Challenge is $125 which includes entry for one athlete, event shirt, event bag, and use of timing chip. There is no entry fee for spectators, we encourage you to bring friends and family to cheer you on!

The 22 mile-long course is designed to take the average athlete approximately two hours to complete. The M-22 Challenge will begin at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore  park (aka Little Glen Lake Picnic Area) located on the northwest corner of Little Glen Lake at 8:00am.

RUN: The event starts with the running portion where athletes will 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 will then catch their breath in a fun 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. Approximately half of the run will take 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, and of course, Inspiration Point. The Leelanau County Sheriffs Department will be leading the first few bikers around the course, but the rest of the pack is on their own. There will be volunteers at all major intersections, but keep in mind 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! etc.) 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 will jump out of their boats and run through the water to the finish line. (Participants need to wear or have a PFD on their craft).

Run staging will open at 7:50 am in the closed-off portion of M-109. To eliminate potential accidents at the start of the race we ask that all “expert” athletes line-up at the front of the start line with less experienced and beginner athletes lining up towards the back.

For 2014 there will be wave starts spaced 1 minute apart:
WAVE 1: Expert & Arms
WAVE 2: 29 & Under
WAVE 3: 30-39
WAVE 4: 40-49
WAVE 5: 50 & Over

Athletes will paddle into a kayak/SUP dismount area where competitors will jump out of their boats, run out of the water and sprint a short distance through the finish line. This part of the race is sure to be very entertaining to watch!

All competitors are asked to gather at the announcers podium for a riders meeting at 7:30am.

The event will be chip timed with mats in three locations: the start line, entrance or exit of the transition area, and the finish line.

All participants must check-in to receive Race Packet & Race Bib. Check-In times are June 13 from 3-8 p.m. at the M22 shop in Glen Arbor (6298 W. Western Ave, M22), and June 14 from 6:30-7 a.m. at the Event Site (please check-in on the 13th if at all possible).  PLEASE NOTE:  M22 Challenge is striving to be a “zero waste” event.  For 2014 we will be implementing a “packet-less” pickup process at registration.  Please understand that you will not receive a packet full of miscellaneous products from various vendors.  In past years we have realized that this process tends to leave the event with excessive items that never end up being used.  Instead you will be handed a reusable M22 bag and will have the opportunity to pick up select items from event sponsors that come to the registration.  We hope you understand this “less is more” registration process.

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 & Bike Rentals are available prior to the race through Crystal River Outfitters. Please click here to reserve your kayak or email to reserve your bike. Also try Brick Wheels for bike rentals. You are encouraged to rent early due to limited rental inventory.

Event staging takes place on Friday June 13 from 5-8pm and from 6:00-7:00am Saturday June 14 at the event site. Run staging opens at 7:50am. Please, please, please try and drop off your kayak/SUP and bike at the event site during the Friday staging time (June 13 between 5 and 8pm). We have hired a security guard to watch over all equipment for Friday night. The event site space is limited and there will be LOTS of traffic, so for your own peace of mind, we ask you drop your boat off on Friday. You can leave your bike overnight, or ride it from the parking lot to the event site in the morning.

In an effort to safeguard against invasive species, the Glen Lake Invasive Species Control Program is requiring that either: A) participants have their kayaks or SUPS and equipment washed and inspected by the Glen Lake Association boat wash station located at the MDNR launch ramp on the northeast side of Little Glen Lake on West Day Forest Rd. or B) assure their watercraft and equipment have not been in another body of water for 10 or more days or C) their watercraft and equipment have been power washed with hot water.

A receipt or tag for your boat will be given to participants upon completion of the wash, which will allow boats to enter the race event site. For those who can guarantee alternative clean boat compliance B) or C) above tags will be provided at the equipment drop off location. The boat wash will be open from 6:00 am until 9:00 pm on Friday June 13th, and at 6:00 am the day of the race.

Be prepared for LOTS of traffic and long lines to park the morning of the event. All competitors and spectators are asked to park in either the “Dune Climb” parking lot, the “North” lot, or the “South” lot – no parking is allowed at the event site or on the side of the road (Park regulations). There will be handicap parking available at the event site.

-Participants can park in the overflow “South” lot of the Dune Climb, BUT they must be out of the lot by 12:30pm.
-Participants can park in the field office “North” lot north of the Dune Climb.
-Dune lot is open for parking. We ask that you please use the North lot and South lot first.
-If all parking is full at North, South, and Dune lots, please park downtown Glen Arbor and take the shuttle from the M22 shop or ride your bike.
-A $10 Park Entrance Pass is required per vehicle. For racers and spectators entering the park on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle, the entrance fee is $5.00 per person for anyone 16 years of age or older. Everyone participating in the race or observing as a spectator must have a pass. Passes can be purchased at the Dune Climb Entrance Station, Visitor Center in Empire or at the M22 Store in Glen Arbor. IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU BUY YOUR PASS AHEAD OF TIME.
-All volunteers please park anywhere downtown Glen Arbor and take the shuttle from the M22 shop to the event site. Shuttle service begins at 6am.

Awards ceremony will take place immediately following the final finishing participant as long as all the race data is processed in time. In past years, all awards were finished by noon. The top three finishers in both the Male & Female Overall Divisions & the Top Three Place Finishers of each age group will receive trophies. We will also recognize the “King of the Dune” and “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 will be determined by the first male and female runner to reach the top of the dune climb. We have been told by many participants that our trophies are pretty nice, in fact, here is what a 2009 and 2010 podium finisher had to say:  ”all I want is one of your trophies.  They are the best of any races I’ve ever done.”

Located just miles from the M-22 Challenge race start & finish, spectators and athletes can stay at The Homestead for a discounted rate. Package includes: nightly lodging, in your choice of accommodations, you will also receive a souvenir M-22 logo hat, Mountaineer breakfast each morning from CQ’s Cabin, the resort’s on-site Breakfast restaurant for each guest. Rates start at $82 per person per night plus tax, based on double occupancy.  Please contact Logan Sanders at 231.334.5100 or view their website

In the Glen Arbor area there are also many vacation homes for rent, along with camping options. Check out the Glen Arbor Chamber Website or the DH Day Campground Website for ideas, or Maplelane Resort -

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates relating to the event.

June in Northern Michigan can bring any type of weather so be prepared for clear blue skies and 85 degrees, or cool rain and fog. The race start will not be delayed for any weather related reason unless there is severe lightening visible in the area, which would most likely pass quickly. Be ready for the start of the race at 8am regardless of rain or fog. If there is a delay it will be in 15 minute increments and announced at the event site and on our Facebook page.

Finally, we encourage you to train so you can push yourself in the race. Don’t forget to bring your friends and family to cheer you on at 8:00am on June 7th 2013. The transition area and finish line will be exciting to watch and Glen Arbor is an excellent place to spend a summer day. Just 15 miles north along the scenic M-22 highway to the Leland Harbor and steps from historic Fishtown, participants as well as their family and friends will find the Leland Wine & Food Festival beginning at Noon the same day as the M-22 Challenge.

Since there is a cut-off for amount of participants in this event, no refunds will be given for any reason. Multiple organizations are involved in the registration process and due to the preparation necessary to operate a smooth event, there will be no refunds or exchanges after your online registration is complete. We are not responsible for late arrivals and hold the right to refuse any entry after staging/transition area is closed. Bikes and kayaks/SUP’s/etc. must be placed in proper location during the allotted staging time. Please respect the event management and volunteers, profanity will not be tolerated, along with any type of littering. Automatic Disqualification to any athlete that throws any type of refuse on the course at any point. We ask that you please leave clean tracks and put garbage in the designated bins (we are striving for a “Zero Waste” event for 2013!). For the bike portion, riders are required to stay as close as possible to the white line on the road, absolutely no crossing of the yellow line. Helmets are mandatory for the biking portion. We ask that the more experienced athletes line-up at the front of the pack for the start. NO drafting allowed. Participants need to wear or have a PFD on their craft.