Traverse City’s Belanger Prepares to Take on M-22

TRAVERSE CITY – Many of us have driven up and down the scenic M-22, but can you imagine running it instead of driving?

Traverse City’s Andy Belanger will be doing just that on Friday afternoon and into Saturday.

As we’ve seen before, Belanger loves a challenge. Last year, he ran back-to-back Iron Man races. This time he will just be running the 116.7 miles of one of northern Michigan’s most well-known roads.

“Raising money and doing a fun run, well a long fun run,” said Belanger.

The idea came from just riding around on the road, and now he’s ready to run it.

“I’ve been planning for about six or seven months now, ramping up my training and getting there and getting ready,” added Belanger.

This isn’t just about accomplishing a goal, however. He is also raising money for the Leelanau Conservancy.

“Born and raised in Traverse, I love this area,” said Belanger. “We live in Leelanau County now and we love it out here. And what they do to keep Leelanau County beautiful is just amazing. And when I got talking to them, they’re currently working on the Palmer Woods Project and have a 2 to 1 matching donation and I thought that was just perfect.”

Belanger will start in Manistee at the Little River Casino on Friday afternoon and will end in Traverse City, which should take him just over an entire day.

“Roughly 30 hours,” said Belanger. “There’s going to be some plus and takeaway from that depending if I’m having any running issues or if everything’s going great. We’ll see. There’s going to be a little bit of resting, a little bit of stopping for food but no stopping to sleep or planning on anyways.”

To track Belanger this weekend or donate to the Leelanau Conservancy, you can check out his Facebook page.