(Springfield, Mo.) - For the second time in two years, former Prime inc lease operator Siphiwe Baleka competed in the USAT Age Group National Championships in Burlington, Vt., on Sunday, August 19. Baleka, who is now the Driver Fitness Coach at Prime and competes for the Endurance Films Racing Team, finished 28th in the Men's 40-44 Division of the Sprint Triathlon. His time of 1:09:13 was 207th fastest overall out of 1,024 competitors.
Baleka finished the half mile swim in 11:21, the tenth fastest in his age group and 104th overall. "I crashed on my bike three weeks ago injuring my shoulder and wasn't able to swim at all until the race," said Baleka. "I was about a minute slower than usual, but I have to accept the fact that I wasn't 100 percent."
Out on the bike, Baleka averaged 21.2 mph, an improvement from last year, but dropped to 252nd place with only the 422nd fastest bike split. "My bike continues to hurt me," said Baleka. "Even though I've improved from last year, I have a long way to go. There are a lot of really fast cyclists in my age group and I need to keep up with them."
Baleka had a lightning fast transition, and moved up twenty places heading out on the run. His 5K time of 19:55 was the 14th fastest run split in his age group and 159th fastest overall. Commenting on the end of the race, Baleka said, "I knew I would have to run hard to get a spot on the World Championship Team, but this year's race was so much faster than last year's. I ran a 6:25 mile pace, but I needed a sub- 6:00 pace. I passed a lot of people the last mile but not enough."
The top 18 finishers in each age group qualify for the World Championships. If athletes do not claim their team spots, it rolls down to 25th place. Adjusting for athletes who age up for the next year, Baleka finished 27th. Said Baleka, "I was very disappointed I didn't qualify for the World Championships Team representing the United States in London next year. That was my goal and I didn't make it. I make no excuses, however. I'm thankful that I am able to train in the fitness center at Prime headquarters and I would not have been able to swim if it weren't for the trigger point therapy I received from Sierra Dove, the massage therapist at Prime."
About Prime inc. Founded in 1970 by Robert Low, Prime inc. is North America's most successful refrigerated, flatbed, tanker and logistics trucking company. Headquartered in Springfield, Mo., Prime's personnel, equipment and technology remains on the cutting edge of the transportation industry, and the company's growth remains steady and well managed.