The last time we caught up with endurance athlete Katie Spotz, the former Cleveland Magazine Most Interesting Person became the youngest person to row across the Atlantic Ocean solo in 2010.
During that trip, the Mentor native partnered with Blue Planet Network to raise $175,000 for people in need of clean water.
And while the row took an astounding 70 days, Spotz says it actually took less training than her latest endurance challenge.
In August, she became the first woman to run nonstop across Vermont (74 miles in 13 hours) and New Hampshire (61 miles in 11 hours). But those were mere preparations to become the first person to run nonstop across Maine, which she did over Labor Day weekend, finishing the nearly 138 miles in 33 hours.
“It was definitely more taxing physically than the row,” she says. “I never pushed myself as hard as I did on this run because running is the hardest thing you can do on your body.”
But the runs weren’t without their pleasures. Running in a straight line across each state gave Spotz the chance to admire nature and see new things with every mile.
“It almost feels like this disconnect,” she says. “Like you’re driving your body and you’re just witnessing nature.”
It also helps knowing some good can come out of her experiences.
Spotz’s Maine run raised $26,000 for a clean water well in Tanzania in partnership with Lifewater International, a Christian-based nonprofit.
“To know that there’s still people without clean water, I just can’t imagine a greater need to meet,” Spotz says. “I think it’s a hope-based way to show people that there is hope."