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Katie Spotz runs through Columbus on her 341-mile journey to support Ugandan water projects

Written by Tatyana Tandanpolie

Surrounded by supporters, endurance athlete and clean-water activist Katie Spotz set off from Glenview Park on the West Side on Friday on her fifth of 11 ultramarathons.Spotz is attempting a world-record 11 ultramarathons in 11 days, spanning 341 miles along the Ohio to Erie Trail in this Run4Water challenge.

Though she’s experienced challenges with soreness, spotty sleep, calorie intake and lost toenails, Spotz, a Lt. Junior Grade Coast Guardsmen, said that running her first 124 miles has been easy. Every day is better than the next, she said. “It's been a really awesome journey just meeting people along the way, seeing the beauty of Ohio, and [I] love knowing that every turn, is a new scenery, a new area, to explore,” she said.

So far she’s raised 85% of her $34,100 fundraising goal, totaling $29,039.95. The money will fund 11 clean water projects in Ugandan communities, restoring wells and rain-catching tanks with filters to aid over 5,000 people.

Nick Coughlin, the Director of Communications for the Minneapolis-based service-learning organization H2O for Life, which is sponsoring Spotz, said that he’s amazed to see the amount of support Spotz has received and how many people she’s inspired just halfway through her race.

To support Katie and her Run4Water efforts, head here.


May 8, 2022

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Columbus Dispatch

Media Mentions from Columbus Dispatch

The Columbus Dispatch has been serving central Ohio with independent news since July 1, 1871. The newspaper staff operates from its 62 E. Broad St. headquarters in Downtown Columbus.


While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure


The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere


SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team