Can You Do It on a Cold, Wet Weekend in Anglesey?
As I sit here listening to the sound of the rain hit my window, it got me thinking about two things. The first is the old saying in football; “Can they do it on a cold, wet, Tuesday night in Stoke,” and how that can actually be applied to marshalling.
The picture does the conditions no justice, but when the rain comes down you know about it.
You’re probably thinking, what the hell has this got to do with marshalling and why is it important? Well, this is one of the driving factors as to why we keep going back. The mentality and love of what we are doing become huge driving factors to keep pulling on those overalls and going again.
Mentality is a huge part of marshalling. I can’t think of many things I would voluntarily do when the rain is coming down hard and the wind is trying to blow you away, yet with marshalling we would happily stand there.
Taking shelter from the rain before a 24 hour race and the spirits were high.
You may also be wondering why I chose Anglesey? Out of all the tracks I’ve been to (which will hopefully increase with a new plan, keep your eyes peeled for that) when it rains there, it doesn’t just rain heavy. It rains heavy, but it comes in horizontally and not only that, as it is on the coast, it is always battered by the sea, rain and wind. Like any place in the United Kingdom when the winter months roll in, it gets ten times worse because not only are you now wet and being battered by the wind, you’re cold.
Spare a thought of those who can’t get out of the weather as well. The number of times I’ve looked across to see those in Assembly, Pits and on Startline who are getting battered by the weather; they are the people I most feel sorry for.
After a day like that getting home and taking off your overalls and having a nice warm shower sounds like bliss. However, at Anglesey most meetings are two day events, so that means you have to get back to where you are staying knowing that it could be exactly the same again tomorrow.
You shelter when you can, but sometimes you just have to go out into it. [Photo: Paul Williams]
If you have really good waterproofs, you’re in a lot of luck because your overalls will remain dry, and if you can shelter in the marshal’s box then you increase the chance of having dry overalls. There is a limit though to just how much water even the best jackets and trousers can repel before they get through to your Probans, and if you have to go out to an incident or are in one of the locations I mentioned earlier, then it’s more than likely that your overalls will be soaked when you take them off.
It happens at any circuit and you just have to make the most of conditions. [Photo: Heather Roberts]
In an ideal world we would have two pairs of Probans to combat this but most marshals will only have one pair. So, why do we decide in the morning that we will put those wet clothes back on and go out and do it all again? I think with a small bit of hope that the sun is out is one, but I have a feeling it is because of the sheer love of the sport which is the main reason. A little bit of water isn’t going to stop us no matter how much it clings to our skin.
After all that though, you can guarantee that it will be raining again for the second day, but at this point you’ve not dried out properly so you’ll happily go out and stand in it again. I know I used Anglesey Circuit as an example and I’m aware it rains heavily and conditions can be horrendous anywhere, but if you can do it in those toughest conditions, then nothing will phase you again weather wise at marshalling.
Best go find my big coat!
Written by – Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter/Instagram)