Nearly a decade ago, Christian athlete Katie Spotz became the youngest person to row across the Atlantic Ocean. She is now determined to accomplish another incredible feat that will bring more than world fame. Spotz will run nonstop across the state of Maine to bring clean water to Tanzanian communities.
Spotz, a self-proclaimed endurance athlete, will run 130 miles to raise money for Lifewater International the weekend before Labor Day. Her goal is to raise $20,000 prior to the race that will go toward providing fresh water to Tanzanian communities.
“In September, I am running nonstop across the state of Maine, covering 130+ miles from the Canadian border to Belfast, Maine becoming the first person to do it. I am putting meaning behind every step, supporting the non-profit Lifewater International along the way,” her Race4Life fundraising page reads.
“Right now 2.2 billion people drink dirty water. That is every 2 in 5 people on our planet. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”
She had originally set a goal of $10,000, but when that milestone was reached much quicker than she anticipated, she doubled the amount.
Spotz said she had originally started running to fight her anxiety. She also wanted to have a feeling of accomplishment. She now understands that personal achievement will always fall short. God is now the sole reason she pushes herself. She is now running off of pure joy rather than necessity.
“When you don’t know God, something else becomes it. For me it was achievement. I bought the lies of achievement, I had this extreme thirst for more and this discontentment. I did not get that promise achievement could bring,” Spotz said.
“When you’re no longer attached to ‘love is earned,’ it frees you to receive this never-ending love. Before I was running on fear. Now I’m running on joy,” Spotz added. “There’s no words that can justify how good and amazing God is… We constantly witness God’s goodness and love and if that’s not an adventure, I don’t know what is.”
As Spotz has researched more about water insecurity, she’s discovered that its not just occurring in lower developed communities. Spotz said she was surprised at how much impact a shortage of water can have on society.
“Australia is a developed, progressive nation and they had restrictions on when you could water your grass or wash your car. That made me think, ‘no one is exempt from something that can and does affect everyone.’ We even see it in the U.S.,” she recalled.
According to Lifewater International, half of Tanzania’s population does not have access to clean water. As a result, this has led to nationwide illnesses. The local government lends zero aid to rural Tanzanian communities.