Making History: Katie Spotz Runs 137 Miles for Safe Water

When asked about what was on her mind as she completed her final sprint of 137 miles, Katie didn’t say “sleep,” or “a hot meal,” as so many of us might after five marathons in 33 hours.

Katie said gratitude. 

On September 5, 2020, endurance athlete and safe water advocate Katie Spotz set off on a feat of strength and self-discipline called “Run4Water.” After 33 hours and 137-miles, Katie ran the distance between the Canadian border and Freeport, Maine.

“I just can’t believe how many people believed in me, believed in this cause, and really showed up without even being asked,” she said.

At the end, she raised over $20,000 for safe water and became the first person to ever run across the state nonstop. Katie’s funds will go towards Lifewater’s Tanzania program, serving children and their families with safe drinking water for years to come.

Even as she elevated her sore, swollen legs, Katie emphasized the burden of those living without safe water around the globe.

“I’ve never had to worry whether what I drank would make me sick,” she said. “No matter what I face, I feel like it’s still nothing… that struggle of not having clean water is so beyond.”

And, according to Katie, it’s important to do something about the water crisis once you know about it.

Katie joined by fellow runners in Maine

“You can be aware… but then you can also bring hope, which is what Lifewater provides—not just water, but hope,” she said. “It’s a problem, yes, but it’s a problem that has solutions; it’s a challenge, but there’s a way through.”

David LeVan, Lifewater International CEO, said Katie’s heart for those without water will bless many this year.

“Katie’s faith, determination, and compassion for vulnerable children and families is an inspiration to me and to our global teams at Lifewater,” he said. “Thousands have been and thousands more will be impacted by her efforts.”

For Katie, that way through is by raising funds to bring clean water to those in need. Over the years, Katie’s completed a 325-mile swim, rowed a boat across the Atlantic Ocean for 70 days, and so much more. She’s wanted to give up, come face to face with her own vulnerabilities, and discovered her ability to keep pushing forward.

“I’ve never had to worry whether what I drank would make me sick. No matter what I face, I feel like it’s still nothing… that struggle of not having clean water is so beyond.” – Katie Spotz

According to Katie, the hardest part of any endurance challenge is feeling as though you’re doing it on your own. Since coming to follow Jesus in 2017, Katie’s experienced a change in the way she feels about her adventures.

“[As a Christian athlete], you never feel like you’re pushing on your own,” she said.

Katie Spotz surrounded by family and friends on the final leg of Run4Water

In every adventure, she is assured and encouraged by her faith. And not only her faith, but by her church community and the additional 50+ people who joined her throughout “Run4Water.”

At the final stretch of her run, her legs aching under the strain of 137 miles, Katie was surrounded by family and friends running for safe water, health, and hope for people who they would likely never meet.

Join Katie and bring safe water to many by donating here.

Choose a Village. Change a Life.