"She used her raw courage to row the Atlantic, all alone, for 70 days, to make sure people who will never know her name have clean water to drink."
-Diane Sawyer, ABC World News anchor
All photography provided by Tamara Renoylds.
Katie Spotz is a faith-fueled endurance athlete, charitable ambassador, author and world-record holder. The list of accomplishments to her name is long, and includes five Ironman triathlons, cycling across the country, a 325-mile river swim, running across deserts, cycling in the Tour of New Zealand, running 100 miles nonstop in under 20 hours, and a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean. But this wasn’t just any row; when Katie arrived in Guyana, South America, after 70 days at sea, she set a world record for the youngest ever solo ocean rower, one of many records to her name.
Throughout her adventures, Katie wasn’t just seeking to make history. She was also raising money for safe drinking water projects around the world. As interest grew in Katie’s amazing exploits, donations came flooding in and at the moment, the total stands at over $275,000 for safe water projects in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, India, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya.
Katie visited water projects and saw the results of the funds raised through her adventures. This journey sparked a campaign to challenge ten schools in the states to help ten schools in Kenya. The schools raised more than $100,000 or enough to help 10,000 students gain access to safe drinking water. To celebrate, the students gathered and broke the world record for the most people carrying water jugs on their heads!
Katie’s story has been featured on CBS Morning Show, CBS Evening News, World News with Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper 360, New York Times, NPR, PBS News Hour, and the Discovery Channel. In 2010, Katie was honored by Glamour Magazine as one of their “Women of the Year”, alongside people like Julia Roberts, Cher, and Queen Rania of Jordan.
Katie continues to act as a change agent for social causes and is an acclaimed motivational speaker sought across the country. She has inspired and captivated thousands from school children to business professionals, and speaks about overcoming adversity and holding onto faith, no matter how steep the odds.