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Katie Spotz    

World Record-Breaking Endurance Athlete & Safe Water Activist

Katie Spotz, from Cleveland, Ohio, describes herself as having been the “benchwarmer” throughout her life. However, there came a time when she made a discovery: you don’t have to be extraordinary to achieve incredible things. And she set about achieving them, one by one.

The list of accomplishments to her name is long, and includes five ironman triathlons, running 100 miles nonstop, cycling across the USA twice, a 325-mile river swim, running across deserts and a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean. But this wasn’t just any row; when Spotz 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. Spotz finished her latest challenge in 2021, Run4Water, where she ran 11 ultra-marathons for 11 days consecutively, setting a new world record along the way.

Throughout her adventures, Spotz isn't just seeking to make history. She is also raising money for safe drinking water projects around the world. To date, clean water 93 projects across 13 countries have been funded resulting in access to clean water for more than 40,000 people.

Spotz’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, Spotz was honored by Glamour Magazine as one of their “Women of the Year”, alongside people like Julia Roberts, Cher, and Queen Rania of Jordan. Spotz was awarded the Elite Female Athlete of the Year for 2020 by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Spotz is an acclaimed motivational speaker sought across the country including the United Nations for their Annual Youth Assembly. She has inspired and captivated school children to business professionals, and speaks about overcoming adversity and achieving what we set out to achieve, no matter how steep the odds. Along the way, she can’t help but inspire all who come to see her speak, as they realize that extraordinary achievements are within everyone’s grasp.

Speech Topics

Iron (Wo)man: A Young Woman’s Journey to Breaking World Records

Global Thirst: The Fight for Clean Drinking Water Around The World

Most of us have never really been thirsty. We've never had to leave our houses and walk five miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out—clean. Despite what many of us recognize as our daily experience, the reality is that nearly a billion people on the planet who do not have clean water. In this talk, Katie invites you to put yourself in their shoes and offers inspiration to make an impact not matter how big or small.

Leadership & Peak Performance: Small Steps to Extraordinary Achievement

Imagine surviving thirty-foot waves, close encounters with sharks, and oncoming freighters with nothing more than a rowboat for shelter. When Katie Spotz set off on the quest to become the youngest person to row across the Atlantic, this was not what she anticipated. But during her journey, she soon realized that to succeed she would not only need to deal with adversity and uncertainly, but instead embrace it one step at a time, using it as an opportunity to grow and prosper.


Safe-water advocate visits Heritage Magnet School - School District ...
Katie Spotz, 26, talked with students and staff on Sept. 19 about her adventures that have helped raise awareness and funds to support people who need safe ...
Diana Nyad isn't the only woman pulling - 09.16.13 - SI Vault
The EDGE. Katie Spotz's endurance career started like many others': A self- proclaimed team-sports benchwarmer at Mentor (Ohio) High, she took a ...
Adventurer Katie Spotz to speak at benefit for Lakewood YMCA ...
Katie Spotz, the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to South America, will speak at a benefit for the Lakewood YMCA on April 10.

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