An Ohio endurance athlete is running from Cincinnati to Cleveland — 341 miles — over the course of 11 days to raise awareness and funds for the nonprofit H2O for Life.
She also hopes to set a world record for the most consecutive ultramarathons run in a row by a female.
Katie Spotz, a self-described "clean water activist and adventurer," is hitting the pavement to complete 11 31-mile ultramarathons over 11 consecutive days. She left Cincinnati June 21.
And as part of the initiative Run4Water, she hopes to rise $34,100 to fund 11 clean water projects in Ugandan schools.
"This endurance feat will test my limits mentally and physically in different ways beyond previous athletic challenges," Spotz says. "The time spent recovering will be just as important as the time spent running 6-7 hours each day. But, I couldn’t be more excited to do this journey in my home state, starting and ending the journey near water, and being part of the solution for the global water crisis.”
As an athlete activist, Spotz has done 10 different endurance events to raise money for clean water projects across the globe. Notably, in 2010 she embarked on a solo rowing adventure — Row for Water — to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 70 days. She set the world record for the youngest person to complete the journey, which took her from West Africa to South America, and raised $150,000.
She also cycled across America and swam the entire Allegheny River to help the one billion people on planet Earth who don't have access to clean water.
On a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Spotz told host Rogan, "Water isn't something that should be taken for granted; it isn't this unlimited resource."
"I was studying environmental science and I remember one of my professors said the wars of the future would be on water. And in some countries that's already the case. And to me, that was kind of that one sentence I couldn't unlearn, I couldn't stop thinking about, and it just hit me at a core of that is so wrong," she continued.
The goal of H2O for Life is focused around the concept that "clean water gives children the opportunity to attend school and get an education," per Sportz's website. "With education, communities are able to raise up strong leaders, making it possible to break the cycle of poverty and allowing future generations to improve their quality of life."
"Because of (Spotz's) efforts, students can focus on learning, instead of spending hours each day walking miles to collecting water," says H2O for Life Director Steve Hall. "Access to clean water, a place to wash hands and a safe place to use the bathroom leads to a remarkable improvement in health and learning."
To train for her 11 days of ultramarathons, Spotz says he ran 62 miles across New Hampshire, 74 miles across Vermont and 138 miles across Maine — all non-stop.
For more information about Spotz's run or to donate, visit water.katiespotz.com.
And follow her journey at instagram.com/katiespotz.
Watch Spotz's interview with Joe Rogan below.