ISLE OF MAN — Two hundred fifty-two people have died racing motorcycles here. There is no room for error at the TT.

Since 1907, the Isle of Man has hosted the “Tourist Trophy,” or TT, a 37-mile motorcycle race that winds through this small British isle at speeds matching that of a high-speed train. The high-speed train has it easy. Riders here must navigate through hairpin bends, bumps, jumps, and manhole covers while passing perilously close to stone walls, buildings, and roadside spectators — at speeds approaching 200 mph.

Medical volunteers travel to the island each year to try to save lives. STAT had exclusive access to these track-side doctors, paramedics, and marshals as they worked. Two helicopters, six ambulances, and a medical response car cover the course and allow the team to respond to incidents within six minutes. (Despite their efforts, four riders died during this year’s race.)

The race draws huge crowds and hundreds of riders from across the world to watch and take part in the spectacle.

“What the spectators see and the marshals and the medics see are riders doing things that are really a celebration of the human spirit,” said Gareth Davies, codirector of Manx Roadracing Medical Services. “There is no rationale for a riding around this track as fast as you can — as much as there’s no real rationale for climbing mountains as quickly as you can or as high as you can.”

The Isle of Man TT is celebrating its 110th year in 2017, and the medical team remains a crucial part of keeping the race as safe as possible. Watch STAT’s exclusive video now to see the challenges of delivering medicine under such extreme conditions.

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  • Sherwin, Google “Manx Motor sport medical services” an organisation set up but Dr David Stevens, they will be happy to talk to you if you are serious. As a trained TT marshal we are always reassured to have experienced medical staff nearby should an incident happen, we are trained but not, generally, experienced with severe trauma injuries. It is much improved from what it was was 15 or so years ago with a minimum of 550 marshals needed to be in place before a wheel is allowed to be turned on the circuit, most of them experienced and trained in incident management.
    I myself raced the TT circuit for 11 years, each year I applied to do so and paid my entry fee, it was my decision to do it and feel privileged to have attained the qualification to have the experience of competing on such an iconic venue.
    As long as people want to do it and others are willing to organise it, it should be allowed to carry on, if you don’t get it or like it, well it is a big world go and do something else and stop trying to spoil other people’s enjoyment.

  • I am an emergency physician and motorcycle rider. I have seen this race on TV and have been in awe. How do I volunteer. Send info please

  • I have been twice and anyone interested in motorcycle’s in any shape or form should go. It is the best. !! Plus the Island itself has so many other attractions. Make sure its on your bucket list,

  • how many People have Died while Fishing. at least we Know motor cycle racing is or can be Dangerous, these guys know what they are doing it is their risk and choice.