Man Runs 120 Marathons Across America for Clean Water in Kenya

Jun 19, 2013 08:51 AM EDT

Steve Spear is running approximately 26 miles per day from Los Angeles to New York for five months in an attempt to raise $1.5 million for clean water in Kenya. If he achieves his goal, then over 30,000 lives will be changed.

The former pastor is fundraising through Team World Vision, an organization that helps create Water Piping Systems, Clean-water wells, Rock Catchments, and Irrigation Canals in communities where there is no access to clean water. With the $1.5 million, Spear can help provide this basic necessity for a village of 30,000 people in Kenya.

Spear says he first learned about the water crisis in Africa about six years ago. The Lord “put the proverbial nail in the coffin” in August of last year, when Spear met a little Kenyan girl named Winnie who has to travel six miles per day to gather contaminated drinking water for her family. Numerous women and children in Africa carry the same burden –searching for water to bring back home instead of caring for their children or attending school. “It all came to a head … this is a huge issue for millions of people,” said Spear.

The man who used to hate running is now inspired to run 3,200 miles – about 122 marathons – across the United States. Spear began his trek in Los Angeles, and plans to end it in New York. He is fundraising through World Vision, a Christian organization that promotes social justice and helps relieve global poverty through major athletic events. According to their website, 6,000 children die every day because of unsafe drinking water and bad sanitation practices.

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When this basic need is met in a community in Africa, child mortality rates can drop by 50%. If you would like to donate toward providing clean water for people in Kenya, please visit, or text “water” to 30644.

RUNNING FOR WATER from Running For Water on Vimeo.