It’s the middle of March, 2022, and road racing enthusiasts are busy gearing up for the return of the Isle of Man TT in May, 2022. After all, it’s been a long hiatus—and although there are other road races, there’s nothing exactly like the IOMTT anywhere else in the world. That is, after all, part of what makes it so special.
Another big part is, of course, the people—and we don’t just mean the talented competitors and mechanics who wring the most out of their machines every single event. The IOMTT wouldn’t be itself without its Isle of Man home. Perhaps unsurprisingly, when entries for competitors officially opened in January, 2022, the TT saw huge interest after the pandemic hiatus. As organisers began to gauge what kind of interest there would be in this year’s event, in February, they started a massive push for IOM residents to invite TT spectators for paid homestays.
Now it’s March, and time is growing shorter before the 2022 IOMTT is scheduled to kick off on May 29. With a new month, it seems, comes a new ask from organisers: Who wants to be a volunteer marshal for the 2022 TT? IOM enterprise minister Alex Allinson specifically wants to recruit some younger volunteer marshals for the event, in the interest of what he terms “sustainability” for future TTs.
"We rely on a large number of volunteers and enthusiasts to allow the event to run. Marshals haven't had any role for the last two years so we need to get on with the retraining, we need to get on with getting marshals to come forward, whether they are on the island or off, whether they have marshalled before, but also that we talk to people on our island, particularly young people, to get them involved in the event as well,” Allinson told the Tynwald Economic Policy Review Committee.
"The TT is based on the people of this island and our visitors, marshalling, being track-side, being part of the event. That's one of the things that makes it unique,” he continued.
Although Allinson didn’t give specific numbers, he also added that the TT had so far had a record number of entries in terms of competitors. That’s honestly not very surprising, given the extremely special nature of the event, and all the bottled-up excitement racers have surely been nursing over the past two years without it.
Here’s hoping the 2022 IOMTT makes a triumphant return, and that competitors and spectators alike have an amazing time—and also, that the pandemic cooperates. As the weather gets nicer, everyone wants to be outside—and, if you’re a bike person, also on your bike. The TT feels as sure a signifier of spring as robins in the northern hemisphere—and is likely just as welcome.