Katie Spotz raises thousands for clean water during world record attempt

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Accomplished runner and world record holder Katie Spotz said she broke yet another record Thursday in Cleveland.

Spotz finished her run across Ohio of 11 ultramarathons in 11 days from Cincinnati to Cleveland. 

Surrounded by family and friends who cheered her along as she crossed the invisible finish line at Edgewater Park, Spotz ran straight towards Lake Erie to jump in and celebrate. 

“It’s very surreal like even making the halfway, making it into Cleveland anything could happen so it’s just a surreal feeling,” she said after her quick swim. “Can’t believe I’m here and I know I’ve done a lot of different challenges, but I was tested to the max.”

As difficult as the ultramarathons were for Spotz, knowing the meaning behind each step helped push her forward.

“As of this morning she had 11 projects that she had funded in Uganda to have wash programs that means water sanitation and hygiene,” said Doug Niemela, executive director of H20 For Life. 

Spotz said her goal was to raise $34,000 for the non-profit H20 For Life in order to help them provide clean drinking water in Uganda through an in-country, non-governmental organization called the Ugandan Water Project. Niemela said the mission of their organization is to help solve the global water crisis.

Spotz exceeded her fundraising goal overnight and now plans to bump up her goal to $40,000 even though her Ohio ultramarathons are complete.

“If didn’t have the crew and the cause, I don’t think I would have made it. it was super challenging, but worth it knowing we reached the fundraising goal and 11 schools in Uganda will have clean water to drink,” she said.

According to her website, last year she became the first person to run non-stop across Maine and raised $26,000 for a water project in Tanzania. She is also listed as breaking a world record for being the youngest to row solo across the Atlantic. 

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