Defense Media Network

2020 Coast Guard Athlete of the Year Completes Latest Ultra-Endurance Challenge

Katie Spotz, U.S. Coast Guard Elite Female Athlete of the Year 2020, began her 341-mile journey on June 21, 2021 in Cincinnati, running along the Ohio to Erie trail until she reached the end of the trail in Cleveland, Ohio on July 1, 2021. This journey was an attempt to break the Guiness World Record for running the most ultramarathons in a row. After running 31-miles a day (50km) for 11 days, she reached her goal having raised funds for 11 clean water projects in Uganda along the way surpassing her original goal of raising $34,100 for H2O for Life.


Katie Spotz, clean water activist and adventurer, completed her latest ultra-endurance challenge and fundraising initiative Run4Water, in her home state of Ohio. Spotz ran across the entire state of Ohio, along the Ohio to Erie Trail from Cincinnati to Cleveland completing the 341-mile journey. The challenge raised funds for H2O for Life in their global mission to ensure every child has access to safe water.


Run4Water marks Spotz’s 10th endurance challenge to raise money for clean water projects in developing communities around the world.  She rose to the public spotlight during her 2010 campaign Row for Water where she set records by rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 70 days.  To date, Spotz’s activism has impacted over 25,000 lives.

To train for this unique challenge, Spotz completed several, nonstop long-distance runs in 2020.  She completed a 62-mile nonstop run across New Hampshire, a 74-mile nonstop run across Vermont, and 138-mile nonstop across Maine in 33 hours.



Reflecting on the challenges of crossing Ohio, Spotz states “This endurance feat will test my limits mentally and physically in different ways beyond previous athletic challenges. 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.”

H2O for Life Director Steve Hall states, “Partners like Katie help children around the world unlock the opportunity to live better, healthier lives through access to clean water. Because of her efforts, students can focus on learning, instead of spending hours each day walking miles to collecting water.  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.  Water gives hope for the future!”
To support Spotz’s fundraising initiative, please visit to donate.


About Katie Spotz

Katie Spotz is an adventurer, charitable ambassador, author, and world-record holder who has used her platform for over 10 years to raise awareness for global water issues.  Fueled by faith, Katie strives to push physical limits across sports by completing 10 endurance challenges including a row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, cycling across America, and swimming the entire length of the Allegheny River.  To date, Katie has raised nearly $300,000 for international projects supporting Haiti, India, Guatemala, Nigeria, and other communities.

Outside of adventuring, Katie serves as a Lieutenant junior grade(title) in the Coast Guard and encourages her community of 10k followers on social media so they too can achieve long-term goals.  She lives her message that all of life’s biggest goals are simply a series of small steps.

For more information about Katie’s work, please visit:

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About H2O for Life

H2O for Life offers a service-learning opportunity designed to engage, educate and inspire youth to take action to solve the global water crisis by raising awareness and funds to support implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene education projects for global partner schools. Since 2007, nearly 1 million students from H2O for Life schools have supported water, sanitation, and hygiene education projects for partner schools in the developing world. For more information or to get involved, please visit: