Why Do I Do This?

As I sat at my desk in work I thought to myself, “Why do I do this?” Not the blog, that’s an easy question to answer but why marshalling? Everything really does point at it being something that isn’t enjoyable; the long days, standing out in the elements, it’s voluntary? Yet, it is the exact opposite! So, I decided to have a look why I enjoy it so much!

Where it all began!  

Whilst I have always loved Motorsport, it was mainly from a spectator point of view that I was interested, watching F1 from the grand age of four and then onto Le Mans back when Henri Pescarolo still had a team in the early 2000s.

Waiting for the season the start
It seemed a long time ago that I first started marshalling. [Amanda Lee]
So, when I was introduced to marshalling some eight years ago by my uncle, there had to be a reason behind it. It’s no secret that I was brought along to just help push cars as being a rugby player I’d be used to the physical exertion.

There were other reasons for me joining marshalling; having the best seat in the house is always good for someone who enjoys that sport. At the time of when I first started my orange journey, I had ambitions of being a Motorsport Engineer and could have used the marshalling as access to the teams to help me gain experience and knowledge. Now I have a pen and a different career path!

The World is My Oyster!

In my first few seasons I limited myself to just Oulton Park and Anglesey Circuit, with the belief that other racetracks were for people in other areas of the country to deal with, not for me! Turns out I was wrong, very wrong. I heard rumours of people going to Donington, Brands Hatch and Silverstone and I told myself I need a slice of that.

I promised myself that I had to do one new track a year, this allowed me to do a bit of travelling with marshalling, a win win situation if you ask me. Since then I have been to Brands Hatch, Knockhill, Silverstone and Goodwood a list that is truly stacking up. The news didn’t stop there, I heard stories of marshals going to Belgium, Azerbaijan, Australia,America and Canada. The list was endless! Traveling abroad with marshalling is certainly something I have locked in my mind and what I want to work towards.

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Always great to expand your skill set, some may help you follow a race. [Paul Williams]
A Valuable Skill Set.  

With no intentions of ever wanting to go far in the marshalling grading as I was quite content with being a Trainee Marshal indefinitely, turning up to races and going home. It wasn’t until I decided one day that I wanted to give flagging a go that I decided to progress. Upon hearing you need to be a certain grade to try other things, I started expanding my skill set, I thought it valuable to gain understanding of Startline, Pits and the Assembly area.

IMG_3388[1]
Startline provides another skill that can’t be passed up in marshalling. 
As being part of different teams and leading other teams could be fruitful for when I wanted try even more things at marshalling.

The chance of being an Incident Officer is the latest string I must add to my bow, as it is something that involves teamwork and leadership, whilst being able to learn on the job, I’m sure there will be a blog about that coming up at some point in the future! So, from being willing to learn and try new things I’ve bettered myself as a person through marshalling.

I just down right enjoy it!

Maybe I should have lead with this? The simple fact is that over the course of the eight years I’ve been a marshal, I have gone from being an odd body to someone who actively looks forward to the next meeting. Marshalling is no longer part of my week but, the pinnacle of my week. The people I have met through the sport and the places that I have visited so far just makes me want to plan the next marshalling journey.

Everything about marshalling is no longer a chore, the early get ups, the standing out in all weathers, they are just things that add to the characteristics of what makes this hobby absolutely fantastic.

Written By Robert Lee (@RobLee559)

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