Katie Spotz FitzGerald, clean water activist and adventurer, will embark on her latest ultra-endurance challenge and fundraising initiative, A Long Way for Water, on October 31, 2023. The athlete’s goal is to become the first woman ever to kayak solo directly from South to North America, and alongside teammate/husband, Mike, the first Americans to make the journey. Paddlers have crossed the Caribbean Sea and cyclists have crossed the continent of South America, but no one has achieved both…yet.
This expedition will take roughly 10 months, covering an estimated 8,000 miles crossing the length of Guyana, through Brazil, into Peru, up to the Colombian coast by bicycle, and finally hugging the shoreline of Central America, heading north until reaching the United States by kayak. The challenge also aims to raise $100,000 to fund the Ugandan Water Project and help 10,000 people to gain access to clean water along the way.
A Long Way for Water marks Katie’s 11th endurance challenge to raise money for clean water projects in developing countries around the world. She rose to the public spotlight during her 2010 campaign Row for Water where she set records by rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 70 days, becoming the youngest ever person to do it alone and first American to row from Africa to South America. To date, Spotz FitzGerald’s activism has impacted over 46,874 lives and funded 148 clean water projects across 16 countries.
Reflecting on the challenges of crossing the Americas, Katie states, Tto some, this journey seems crazy. But, when one in 10 people don’t have clean water to drink, the craziest thing to do would be nothing. This endeavor is an enormous undertaking and a real mental, physical and emotional challenge. The approach toward this journey is the same approach we need to overcome the global world water crisis—by taking things one small step at a time.”
This journey would not be possible without the gracious support of the following sponsors: Sawyer, Backcountry, P&H Custom Sea Kayaks, Online Sea Kayaking, Portland Paddle, Werner Paddles, KAYJAY Consulting, T-Rex Duct Tape, Showers pass, Tailwind Nutrition, Voltaic Systems and Hennessy Hammock.
“Brilliant! Look forward to working with you and supporting your expedition.” —Chris Hipgrave, director of sales at Pyranha Kayaks and renowned kayaking athlete
“The team is all super stoked to have you, and excited to witness your journey.” —Cami Swan, marketing manager for Backcountry, and renowned adventurer, athlete and outdoorswoman.
About Katie Spotz
Katie Spotz is an adventurer, charitable ambassador, author and world-record holder. Katie is the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean and was the first person to have swum the entire length of the Allegheny River. Katie’s story has been featured on CBS Morning Show, CBS Evening News, Joe Rogan Experience, World News with Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper 360, New York Times, NPR, and other media outlets. For more information, please visit: KatieSpotz.com.
About the Ugandan Water Project
The Ugandan Water Project exists to see Uganda as a nation liberated from the bondage of water-borne disease and poverty as communities leverage the transformative power of clean water to empower all people to live the lives they were created for.
We help you end Uganda’s water crisis once and for all by building infrastructure that relieves immediate water insecurity today, developing sustainable enterprises that keep clean water flowing tomorrow, then advocating for national systems that ensure it stays that way forever.
For more information, please visit: ugandanwaterproject.com/.
Disclaimer: Katie Spotz FitzGerald is wearing an inflatable belt PFD in the photos.