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Renowned endurance athlete Katie Spotz to speak April 14

RELEASED: April 1, 2011

Katie Spotz
Katie Spotz

EAU CLAIRE — Endurance athlete Katie Spotz, the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, will speak April 14 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She will share stories about her 2,800 miles and 70 days alone at sea, and speak about her campaign for safe drinking water, at 7 p.m. in Room 100 of Schneider Social Science Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

In January 2010 the 21-year-old Ohio woman set out in her tiny yellow boat from Dakar, Senegal, on Africa's west coast. When she reached the South American port of Georgetown, Guyana, on March 14, Spotz became the youngest person to ever row solo across an entire ocean and the first American to row a boat from one continent to another. Spotz partnered with the Blue Planet Network, a nonprofit group that works toward bringing sustainable safe drinking water to rural communities around the world.

Soon after graduating from high school, Spotz joined a running class and quickly surprised herself by running five miles. She progressed into running marathons and is now a veteran of endurance events. In 2006 she cycled 3,300 miles across the U.S. for the benefit of the American Lung Association. For Oxfam, she completed a 62-mile ultramarathon in Melbourne, Australia. She placed first in her age group in a half Ironman triathlon — a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run. She ran 150 miles solo across the Mojave Desert. In her 2008 "Swim for Water," Spotz became the first person to swim the length of Pennsylvania's 352-mile Allegheny River, to benefit Blue Planet's safe drinking water projects around the world. She is now planning her next adventure, "Ride for your Life."

Spotz has been interviewed on National Public Radio and network television shows including "Anderson Cooper 360" and the "CBS Early Show," and her story has been covered by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and many other newspapers. In November she was named one of 2010's Women of the Year by Glamour magazine.

Sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate, Spotz's presentation is made possible by Kinetico Home Water Systems.

-30-

JS/DW

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