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Maine woman runs 11 ultramarathons 11 days in a row for clean water

Katie Spotz recently ran across Ohio, completing the journey in just 11 days.

PORTLAND, Maine — Katie Spotz is no stranger to pushing herself or the limits of her body. Spotz, who is a member of the United States Coast Guard stationed in Maine, became the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 2010. 

In September 2020, she ran across her home state of Maine, a grueling 137 miles in just 33 hours; that is equal to running five marathons in less than a day and a half.   

On July 1, 2021, Spotz became the first person to run 11 ultramarathons (31 miles) in 11 days. The Ohio native ran across Ohio, averaging six to seven hours each day.

“It is such a big goal that it’s almost impossible to train for,” Spotz said, noting she dealt with an injury that kept her from running leading up to the challenge.

RELATED: Running for water: Katie Spotz will run from Canadian border to Maine coast, raising money for clean water

Sharing with you an up-close and personal view of the 341-mile Run4Water journey with a series of video diaries starting...

Posted by Katie Spotz on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

As if running 31 miles a day for 11 days was not challenging enough, Spotz said she also had to deal with heat indexes of  up to 100 degrees. Some days, she said, her shoes melted on the hot pavement. 

Despite the challenges, the cause that benefits from these challenges keeps her moving forward. Through the organization H20 for Life, Spotz is working to raise $40,000 to help 11 schools and 5,000 people in Uganda get clean drinking water.

“I didn’t know that so many people didn’t have clean water. It’s hard to imagine what you cannot do when you do not have clean water, and it is not just health, it is education, it is women empowerment, and it is in the environment. It affects all aspects of life,” Spotz said.

Spotz is also working with the Guinness World Records to try and make her attempt to run the most ultra marathons in a row an official world record. She is already planning her next challenges, including biking across Maine later this year and then possibly rollerblading across the Florida Keys.

To help fund Spotz's goal, click here.

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