One of the first things you’ll notice upon walking into Tough Mudder Headquarters is a cast of characters as electrifying and diverse as our on-course obstacles. And while there’s no doubt you’re familiar with our military-style obstacles, few have a chance to meet the minds behind the mud-coated madness. So to give you a behind-the-scenes, insider look at TMHQ, over the next few months, we’ll be serving up some TMHQ Q&As to help you get to know some of our most admired team members.
In the hot seat today? TMHQ Senior Manager of CRM and Email Marketing, Jenna Klebanoff.
In exactly ten words, what do you do for Tough Mudder?
Send awesome email campaigns to our fun, crazy, inspiring customers! (Sidenote: Open your emails from TMHQ, people! You won’t regret it.)
What were you doing with your life before coming on board at TMHQ?
Professionally, I was getting people excited about subscribing to some of the most popular magazines in the world. Personally, I was spending lots of time and money on my Bikram yoga practice.
What was your first day at TMHQ like?
Busy. I worked harder my first day here than I did my first month elsewhere. My day started with a Starbucks meeting with [Mudder Services Associate] Darah Wolf and [Email Marketing Associate] Brian Corcoran, who were managing our email marketing before I came on board. They were excited to get me up to speed on my role managing the email marketing program. After that, I was given my computer, a list of about 15 people in the company to get to know immediately and put to work!
What is your typical morning routine?
I try very hard to wake up at 6am and take a class at the gym before work. Now that it’s warm out, I’m hoping to run the five miles to work at least once a week. Running over the Brooklyn Bridge will be much more enjoyable than a sweaty summer subway ride. Once I make it to the office, I review my inbox while eating a breakfast of Fruit Loops.
Who sits to your right at TMHQ, and what is the best part about being near him or her?
I sit next to Brian, TMHQ’s Email Marketing Associate. I like sitting next to him because he always brings me a Diet Coke if he finds an extra one in the fridge. Just kidding…sorta.
What is your definition of “best lunch break ever?”
Sometimes a group of us participate in a “run club” during lunch. We put on our orange Tough Mudder headbands and run different three to seven-mile routes. My favorite route from TMHQ is across the Brooklyn Bridge, through Chinatown, then back to the office over the Manhattan Bridge. When I’m not in the mood for a workout, I like getting frozen yogurt with other TMHQers.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever done?
I write a lot of emails and tweets to Ellen DeGeneres. I’m probably her biggest fan, and I watch every single episode of her show, even if it means binge-watching over the weekend. Last year, I actually won an Instagram contest of hers and she Instagrammed an ugly sweater photo of me, my brother, and my dog. It ended up getting over 20,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
What’s one thing you’ve seen on course that has restored your faith in humanity?
I was recently on course with my best friend, and she’d never done anything like a Tough Mudder in her life. At one point when she was scaling a wall, she lost her foothold and her faith wavered momentarily as she hung from the top. I started cheering her on, and as other Mudders around us caught wind of the situation, they started doing the same. Needless to say, she made it over the wall with the support of 30 complete strangers. It’s moments like that when I’m proudest to be a part of TMHQ.
What is the hardest laugh you’ve had at TMHQ?
Back in early February, I was invited to our Obstacle Innovation Lab to test new obstacles. It was 30 degrees outside, the ground was covered in snow, and all water obstacles had huge chunks of ice in them. One of the obstacles we were testing was Pyramid Scheme, and I’ll just say, there’s no place but Tough Mudder where you can bond with your coworkers like THAT. To get to the top of the obstacle, I had to climb my coworkers like they were trees, and we ended up in lots of weird and compromising positions that were definitely NSFW.
If you were a Tough Mudder obstacle, which one would you be and why?
Dong Dangler. It’s fun, requires immense teamwork and forces you to laugh at yourself when things don’t go your way.