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Glamour is not Enough!

What does glamour have to do with clean drinking water?

Katie Spotz was awarded  A Women of the Year award by Glamour magazine in 2010 (one of ten awards)  and if this is not enough, she raises funds for safe, clean drinking water through her endurance adventures and continually inspires us ……………

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“My hope,” Katie says, “is to make people realize they’re capable of so much more than they think.” 

Katie is an enduro-adventure athlete, and in her 23 years has achieved several firsts. She has already swum the entire length of the Allegheny River in New York and Pennsylvania (325 miles)


She ran solo and self-supported across the Mojave and Colorado Deserts (150 miles)


She also cycled across the United States from Seattle to Washington, D.C. in 2006, raising funds for the American Lung Association of Washington.

Mike Williamson, our Bankonrain Founder and Director met Katie on the Big Ride Across America. Mike recalls “Katie had no bravado and never a complaint that I can recall about the record temperatures, horrendous headwinds, humidity, mosquitoes and oh yea, over 3000 miles on a bicycle seat.  Most of the rest of us did our share of bitching.  She is amazing.”


Most recently, Katie became the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean from Senegal in Africa to Guyana in South America (3000 miles) Her incredible “Row for Water “ across the Atlantic Ocean was sponsored by Blue Planet Network, a non-profit organization funding sustainable safe drinking water projects around the world. She was able to raise over $100,000 in donations for Blue Planet Run with her Row for Water.


For more information check out her blog “Row for Water” and be sure and follow Katie on twitter @KatieSpotz and most important stay tuned for her next adventure.

All of us at Bank On Rain thank Katie for her inspiration and for sponsoring us as a member in Blue Planet’s Peer Water Exchange (PWX) network. PWX believes local, grassroots projects are the key to solving the global water crisis in rural and remote areas.

Katie did get me thinking about my own water use in a different way, and what I have to do to get it…… lucky me, it’s with the turn of the tap!  So how can I really understand the hardships that many others have; to obtain safe water for drinking, for cooking, and irrigating what they grow for food?  What if I had to walk over 5 miles a day to get all the water I needed to survive?

Call me somewhat crazy but I think if a group of us, each in our local communities showed what it was like to collect our own water from several miles away, and carry it in a bucket, every day for a week or a even month ….water awareness week…….would this result in promoting an awareness of what many people on our planet actually face every day?

Not many of us can row across an ocean, but maybe we can make a statement in a different way. Would you say this kind of ‘think global, act local’ action of a walk for water awareness week could catch on and grow?  Could it go viral?  Would it bring awareness of our own water use; how we get it and how much water we actually use? Way too much! Katie’s got me thinking that we are capable of so much more than we think…

Anitra Accetturo, for Bank On Rain

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images © Glamour Magazine, Blue Planet Run, Post-Gazette ~ with thanks

Originally published January 25, 2011 on Posterous


Katie has just been named Ohio amateur athlete of the year.  In the video interview she states that the new challenge will be announced next month.

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