Nathaniel Edwin is a student but this year he has taken up his position as a marshal on the mountain road for the first time. He’s based up at the 27th Milestone and loving every minute of it.
“I’m not a fully qualified marshal yet. I’ve only attended 3 practice sessions to date and you have to get 10 under your belt before you can become a fully fledged marshal. I’m almost there though!
“When you sign up to be a marshal they give you a marshal’s pack and there’s a DVD which has loads of information in it. I’ve learnt a lot from that but the best experience you get is when you get on the course during a practice.
Almost qualified: Nathaniel Edwin
“I’m also undertaking an instant management course which is nationally recognised with St. John Ambulance, that will go some way to becoming a marshal. Once I am fully qualified I’ll be able to marshal at other events too.
“The motivation to become a marshal for me came from my family. My older brother was a rider in the TT races. He is Richard Milky Quayle. He came of his bike during racing a few years ago in the Senior TT and he was very badly injured.
“If the marshals hadn’t been there for him he wouldn’t be here today. They were there on the scene; they called in the travelling marshal who was there in minutes. I think Milky owes his life to those marshals and that has been the inspiration for me to become one.
“There are marshals on every corner of the TT (around 500 for every race) and without all of them you wouldn’t have the TT, they are all giving their time on a voluntary basis.
“During the racing you have got to keep on the ball. Obviously you are not allowed to take photographs or anything like that; you just have to concentrate 100%. At my marshalling point on the 27th Milestone we need four people just to run that one point. That’s two looking in one direction and two looking in the other direction.
“You have to watch everything the bikes are doing. On my first marshalling session a bike went passed with smoke coming out the back of it. You instantly have to assume that it has an oil leak and call ahead to the next marshal down the line.
“If that bike had been leaking oil then the bike behind it could have slipped and then there would have been an accident. I would imagine the marshals have saved many lives over the years.
“It’s quite exhausting to concentrate so hard for so long. You’re up there for three hours. I take a hot flask of tea so that helps!
“There’s a great sense of camaraderie amongst the marshals. Every marshal I meet is happy. When you meet people under those circumstances you gel together really quickly, because you have to basically.
“Apart from anything else it gives you a real thrill to watch those bikes go so fast. I love bikes and the TT is really incredible. I’ve signed myself up for every race there is. That means I’ll be up on the mountain all day, it’s going to be great.
“There’s always an element of risk in these things, motor sport is dangerous, even when you are just watching, but I just know the other marshals will be there to watch out for me.
“I haven’t met many of the riders yet but I am hoping to introduce myself soon. I have a warrant card which gets me into the race office and the paddock so I’m going up there now!”
last updated: 04/06/2009 at 11:26
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"Marshals are the unsung heros of the TT races". Do you agree?