To those unfamiliar with Leelanau County, M-22 is just a road on a map. To Keegan and Matt Meyers, two kite-boarding brothers from Old Mission, this majestic highway is the call sign of their hearts. Attuned to the frequency of summer, the lakeshore along M-22 beckons the brothers back from far off adventures. Again and again they return to their home and heart, along the dune sloped shores of Lake Michigan, meeting the waves and wind with incomparable appreciation. This mutual reverence motivates them to share their love of the region by offering the M-22 Challenge – a three sport, action adventure event focusing on the splendor of the area.
The said “Broneah Brothers” conceptualized the M-22 Challenge, hoping to translate their passion for the area into an event that could be shared with others. Assembling an all-star cast of coordinators, including their father Matt Meyers, local athletes and promoters, plus the support of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, this event has the makings of a long-standing ritual for both locals and visitors. Participation in this event entitles contestants to an intimate view of the Park and the surrounding lakes. There is no way to possibly be more up close and personal with Northern Michigan than to take on this challenge.
The M-22 Challenge is scheduled for June 20th. The event begins with a two mile run, starting with a 100 yard climb up the steep sand dunes, within the boundaries of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. For the second leg, contestants will transition to their cycles, taking a 17 mile spin around the Glen Lakes before hitting the water for an exciting finale – a one mile kayaking circuit. The “Challenge” is open to all levels, but the top athletes are expected to complete the course in about two hours.
Participation will be capped around 200 contestants, but there are still spaces available and time to join in the fun. Check out the M-22 Challenge website for complete access to details of the race, including maps depicting the exact run, bike, and kayak courses. Additionally, volunteer opportunities abound. The next volunteer meeting is scheduled for May 26th. If you are curious and want to be involved, but prefer not to race, don’t be shy! Inquire about volunteering. Either way, be sure to be involved in this event.
Photo: Glen Arbor Men by Andy McFarlane