Community Spotlight: Thomas Marquis

Ever wondered who that stylish, head-turning fashion queen is, strutting around the Mudder Village in a Techni-colour Tough Mudder headband jacket? Well, hold on tight because we’re about to spill the beans on this mysterious headband hoarder.

Prepare to be amazed as we unveil the jaw-dropping number of headbands Thomas Marquis has accumulated. Buckle up and keep reading, because the secrets are about to be revealed.

What gave you the idea to create this amazing headband jacket?

The idea was actually from another legionnaire back in 2016 who’d sewn 5 together to make a hat, I had a season pass at the time and was getting more headbands than I could ever wear on my head, so told myself I would make a jacket rather than have them all in a drawer. It debuted at World’s Toughest Mudder 2016 as a gillet, at World’s Toughest Mudder 2017 it gained sleeves, and it’s steadily got longer as I’ve hit new milestones for events since.

How many headbands do you have on your jacket and how many more to go?

There are 101 headbands in it so far, I have a stock at home waiting to be added, but as I’ve put the legionnaire’s ladder on the back I’m waiting to hit 100 events next year to finish the ladder before I can finish the jacket.

My current plan for when it’s finished will be 176 headbands, but as this is the first thing I’ve ever sewn, those plans may get adapted😂

What inspires you to run so many Tough Mudders?

There are only really three things that keep me coming back:

  • The Community: I’ve never seen a more supportive and friendly community that comes from all walks of life.
  • The atmosphere: I always found it amazing the difference in atmosphere between running in the first wave, in the peaceful wilderness of the courses, and running later in the day where there are always people around you, everyone helping everyone move forward and having a laugh while doing it, and I love both so regularly end up going first wave for a peaceful run then heading back to the start line to go again for a more social one.
  • The ethos: You can show up to the start line alone, but you’ll never cross the finish line alone, as you run you end up getting to know groups that are moving at a similar pace and end up in an unplanned and completely improvised team. I’ve tried a few different obstacle course races, but at Tough Mudder everyone is so all about helping each other that it’s the only event where I’ve seen people run to a particular obstacle and then spend all day (or night, I’ve seen it at Europe’s Toughest Mudder and World’s Toughest Mudder too) just staying at that obstacle helping anyone who’s struggling to get over it.

How long has it taken to collect so many headbands?

I ran my first in 2013 at the Scotland venue, second in 2014, 3rd and 4th in 2015, where I met some of the biggest mischief makers in the community, one of which still runs at all of the UK events, and they inspired me to get a season pass in 2016, which is where the headband collection really took off, so you could say it’s taken me a decade to collect the headbands I have, but only 4 of those were from before 2016.

Tips for a beginner?

The event isn’t timed so there’s no pressure and you can treat it as what it is.

Don’t be afraid to show up alone as you’ll find you won’t be alone for long.

Remember to help other folks as well, as it’s half the fun.

Think you got what it takes?

Sign up today and earn your headband.