Martin Still in Prime Form
Port of Spain, Trinidad, March 18, 2017
You will be hard pressed to try describing Martin Prime in only a few words. At 54-years of age, he has a successful career as a Network Engineer at TSTT, he is one of the top runners in his age group (50-54) at the International Masters level; the president of his track club, ZC Athletics (formerly Brooklyn Athletics) where he also coaches; he counsels men in need of guidance at Shamrock Prison in San Fernando; he’s an active member of his church, Revival Time Assembly and he’s a husband and father.
He’s also humble, hard working, polite, determined, charitable, committed and focused, to name a few things about him. His personality is defined by an impressive repertoire of high standards he does his best to hold himself to. Most notably, he is the no. 1 ranked runner in his age group for both the 60m and 200m events and peaked at no.1 in the world in the 200m and 2nd in the 60m in 2014.
How does he manage it all? Scheduled for an interview at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, Prime showed up, on time, in his bmobile t-shirt and shorts, with his wife, who appears to have no issues keeping up with him. She ran laps around the track for the entire 45-minute long interview. Following the meeting, they rushed to get to church at 8:00 am. Prime left on the Wednesday of that very week to compete at the World Indoor Masters Championships in South Korea, taking place from March 19th to 25th. He is contesting the 60m and 200m events. The brief encounter offers valuable insight into how he has managed to stay on top of his game in multiple facets of his life to date. Somehow, he is able to integrate all aspects almost seamlessly – family, sport, work and charity – he just gets it done!
“I feel like now it’s a privilege to be able to run, to be able to move my feet, because when you look at other males and females around my age, some not able to walk or see or are suffering from some illness,” said Prime. “So I feel that sometimes I am doing it for them too even though they don’t even know me directly. To me it’s like promoting healthy living for those my age, to show others that they can do it to, maybe not competitively, but just to keep fit.”
The idea of being privileged drives him to give back wherever possible, whether it’s through his counseling at Shamrock, being a model employee at TSTT, a father figure to the young athletes at ZC Athletics or just working to be a better father and husband. He says, in his opinion, leaning on his own experience and growth allows him to better reach others.
“I’m not there (at Shamrock) to judge anyone, I’m just there to help everyone in the best way I could. It was a challenge at first, but now I realize that we need to help each other in some way. I share my own challenges with the men and how I resolve them, not in detail, but I think that’s why they appreciate me too,” he said.
He also takes this friendly approach of going above and beyond by being a father figure and praying with the young people at his club and even at work, where he is known for acknowledging everyone he comes across. “I try to recognize and acknowledge every person when I come into the building on a morning. It has built a different relationship with me and everyone,” he explained. “When I drive in, I blow my horn and wave at everyone. I don’t know them personally but I make sure and do it. You need to do it. My children always ask me why I do it. But for me it’s hard to pass someone without acknowledging their presence.”
It could be the reason he garners so much support from work and outside by just being pleasant. He wears his TSTT badge with pride and takes his job very seriously. “I’m proud to work at TSTT. I have met a lot of wonderful people who have changed my life in some way,” Prime shared.
And, despite being a network engineer who is largely responsible for enterprise services, he sees any issue a customer may bring to him as his responsibility. “I work with trunk lines, I am not responsible for mobile, but as a TSTT employee, you are responsible for anything happening with the network, because at the end of the day, when you put on that shirt and you walk down the street and somebody asks you about a problem you have to help. I can’t just say I don’t work in that department, I have to find somebody that can help them, so I guess that’s the mentality we all have to take. Good service benefits all of us,” he proudly explained.
Prime is now in his last year of the 50-54 age group for the Masters Championships, given that he turns 55 this month and he is also approaching retirement age, but he has no plans of stopping anytime soon. As long as he can, he will and he will do it to the best of his ability.