What’s a corner marshal?
While watching motorcycle road racing on TV, you’ve probably noticed valiant people standing around the track, dressed entirely in white and occasionally waving a flag. These are corner marshals.
There is no other way to get closer to Colorado motorcycle racing without putting on helmet and leathers and straddling a motorcycle. These are the ladies and gentlemen who maintain control and safety throughout the track on race day. They are vital to race day.
Most of the time, the corner marshals enjoy the close-up action of motorcycle racing. But when a rider crashes, they sprint into action. Flaggers display warnings for oncoming riders, other crew members assist the downed rider and clear the track to keep the race action going.
How do I become a corner marshal?
Click here to read the MRA CornerWorkers’ Forum.
There is no experience necessary to become a corner marshal and you are not required to attend every event. If you are interested, send an email to the MRA Track Marshal on the MRA Contacts Page.
What exactly is corner working?
(And do I have to pick up bikes?)
Cornerworking, in a nutshell, is a combination of ensuring the track is safe for all riders, and assisting riders who have crashed or had mechanical failures. This is accomplished through 2 separate roles that you can fulfill:
Flagger: a flagger stands ahead of the corner, and notifies bikes if there is anything in the upcoming corner they need to be careful for (i.e.: debris; bike/people; ambulance). A flagger’s only job is to flag – they do not leave their post to pick up bikes or assist riders.
Runner: a runner’s primary responsibility is to assist downed riders & mechanical failures, and when possible, remove debris from the track.
So, if you don’t want to pick up bikes, you don’t have to. If you do, and you’re assigned to a corner with someone else who does, then you can coordinate trading duties with them. When staffing permits, there may also be a corner-captain, but often times the runner also fulfills this role.
Water & Gatorade is provided to help you stay hydrated. A free hot lunch is provided through on-site concessions.
Pay is as follows:
Starting pay is $75 per day. To reward people who keep coming back year after year, anybody who worked more than half the races in the preceding year is considered “Experienced” and will receive $100 per day.
Since you are required to show up very early in the morning, hotel reimbursement is available for both Friday and Saturday night for out-of-town races (Pueblo and PPIR). You must work all of both days in order to qualify for reimbursement. Hotels are reimbursed up-to $45 per person, per night (if you share a room with another cornerworker, that can get you up-to a $90/night room – don’t forget about taxes tho, so more realistically, closer to $80/night).
What time does it start? How long is the day?
Cornerworkers are asked to show up at 6:45 each morning. Saturday has the potential to run until 5PM, but may finish earlier. Sunday typically finishes around 4PM. The end of each day may be delayed by the number/severity of crashes. Yes, it’s a long day, but it’s good for you (you’re outside & you’re on your feet – that’s better for you than sitting on the couch! ), it’s good for the MRA racers (without cornerworkers, they can’t race!!), it’s a great group of people, and during lunch & at the end of the day, you can walk thru the pits and talk to racers.
What to bring (and what NOT to bring)?
- First of all, DO NOT wear anything Yellow or Red (that includes your hat or gloves)
- White pants (blue jeans are acceptable) – NO SHORTS!
- White T-shirt (or mostly white) – long- or short-sleeve is up to you. After you work a few events, you will receive an official Corner Marshal shirt
- Comfortable shoes/boots – you’ll be on your feet most of the day – NO SANDALS!
- Belt (or similar) to clip a radio to.
- Earplugs – in case you don’t get a radio or don’t get one of the big headsets
- Gloves to protect your hands while handling bikes. Leather work gloves are ideal for this.
- Hat & sunglasses to protect you from standing out in the sun all day.
- Sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater)
- Jacket and/or sweatshirt – it can be chilly in the mornings!
- Rain gear (just in case) – jacket/pants style preferred, and can also be used to help stay warm – NO RED OR YELLOW RAIN SUITS! The MRA races in the rain at most tracks, and the corners tend to get muddy, so you also want to bring appropriate boots, and a change of clothes for the ride home.
- Food – even though lunch will be provided, you may want to bring your own snacks and/or a few dollars for the concession stand.
- Backpack or bucket and/or cooler – to carry your gear, drinks/food to/from your corner. Buckets (with lids) and coolers can be used as a seat to rest your legs/lower-back in-between races.
- Bring your friends along so they can cornerwork too!
- And finally, DO NOT wear anything Yellow or Red!!!
When/where are the races?
Check the MRA 2016 Season Schedule for dates and locations
I’m in – how do I sign up?
You can sign up, even just a few days prior to any race weekend. Corner Worker Packet, fill it out and send it in. Then watch the forums for a sign up thread about a week prior to the races and just post up that you’ll be there!