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From 0 to 100 and striving for higher

Long distance running is a sport that must transcend into a passion for many adults. As we get older our priorities and responsibilities in life begin to change and without strict discipline we often loose the passion we once had for the things we loved. For 32 year old Colletonian Chris Varnadoe, it wasn’t until two years ago that he discovered his true passion for running but once discovered, he took his miles from 0 to 100 in a little over two years. Varnadoe is a native to Colleton County. He graduated from Colleton County High School and married his high school sweetheart, Tiffini, and together they share their beautiful daughter Braylee. In February of 2016, Varnadoe began to dip his toes in the running world when a lifelong friend introduced him. “My Buddy Jason Vaughn introduced me to running and I became intrigued with Ultra Marathons from watching documentaries on people who have completed numerous Ultra Races,” Varnadoe said. This is where Varnadoe’s passion ignited as he began to realize what he truly loved about running. “My desire is to do Ultra Marathons and complete longer distances,” Varnadoe said, “My favorite part is completing the longer distances that I have trained mentally and physically for.”

Varnadoe began to train and went on to compete in long distance runs including his biggest long distance run this year, The Hell Hole 100 miler. The title describes the run exactly as Varnadoe was pushed to new limits as he ran 100 miles through water, mud, and hot terrains. “The hell hole had many elements outside of running like the heat and humidity within the swamp, the bugs and wildlife surrounding the swamp, running through approximately 3 miles of mud and knee deep water, and running 29+ hours through the day and night without any sleep,” Varnadoe said, “This race beat me up both physically and mentally, but the feeling of accomplishment when it was over has me motivated to go a further distance in the future.” What may have slowed others down has only motivated Varnadoe to push harder. This year Varnadoe has competed in the Harbinson 50k, Palmetto 200 (Relay Run), Wambaw Swamp Stomp 50 miler, Hell Hole 100 miler, and a few 5ks and a 10k with his wife and daughter. Those are only the beginning, as Varnadoe is already signed up for the 15 miler Revenge of Stede Bonnet, Tuna 200 (Relay), and One Epic Run 24 Hour Race, Pacing for a 100 Miler to finish out 2018.

With only a little over two years of training, Varnadoe has pushed the limits, but his greatest attribute may be his humility about his accomplishments. “I am so very proud of my husband,” Tiffini Varnadoe said, “He succeeds at anything he does. He has accomplished a lot in the short time he has been running. I can’t wrap my mind around the mileage he runs. I’m proud of all of his running accomplishments, but I am most proud of the Christian man he is, how he shows kindness, and how he treats his daughter and I. He simply amazes me.” Although the journey is his to take, he attributes the reason he is able to succeed at all is because of his amazing support from his family and friends. “I want to acknowledge my wife and daughter because of their support both at races and while I am training,” Varnadoe said, “My family and friends that encourage me along the way, my Mom who comes to all my races, my teammates in the relays, and my Buddy Chris Powell who has run several races with me and paced me for the last 40 miles of the Hell Hole 100.” As for his future goals, “I want to complete some more 100 milers, complete the Hell Hole 140 miler in June 2019, and complete more races with my wife and daughter.”

Amye Stivender (218 Posts)