Parker Watt, who recently moved to Lakewood from Chicago, IL, joined RMTC in November 2019 and will have the honor of being the first RMTC member to be racing a triathlon in 2021 at IronMan 70.3 Texas on April 11. Although he was able to do one tri last year, i.e., 2020 Littlefoot Sprint Triathlon in Lakewood, his last long course race goes all the way back to August, 2019 at IronMan 70.3 in Traverse City, MI. So, like us all, it has been awhile.
Parker grew up swimming competitively; then, in college, got into running. But, with a name like “Watt”, it was only time before he got into biking and dove into triathlon. His first triathlon was to be the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon in Wisconsin in 2016; but, unfortunately, it was changed to a bike/run event due to weather. Despite not being able to tap into his strong swim capability, he still placed 3rd in his AG which readied him for his first true triathlon at IronMan Steelhead 70.3 in Michigan. When asked about his first triathlon experience, he shared that, despite his swim background, he was, surprisingly, terrified as he walked up to the water and was nervous about the open water swim that took place in a huge bay off of Lake Michigan. However, he put that behind him and just did what he does best: swim. He came 9th of over 2,000 people out of the water and after a strong bike and hot run, limbo’d just under 5 hours as he crossed the finish line. The triathlon bug bit him and over the next 4 years raced in all sorts of triathlons; to include, seven 70.3’s and three Full IronMan.
When he moved to Colorado in late 2019, one of the first things he did was to join RMTC. He shared, “Going into the summer and not knowing what would transpire with racing, I decided that I would just keep training and see what would happen with the season. Then after it became clear that the races were all cancelled, I went out with a fun approach to training by joining RMTC for more group activities and having less focus on specificity and just enjoying the social aspect of training. Going to the RMTC workouts was a great way to familiarize myself with the group, meet great people, and just have fun with everyone.” During the summer of 2020, he was also able to tap into the RMTC sponsors; CAMPUS CYCLES, who helped, during the crazy cycling boom, get a brand new road bike that he could use to climb all these wonderful mountains; SWIM LABS, during the pool closures, provided access to their Endless Pools so he could keep swimming; and, he always has his XTERRA swim skin with him for training in open water and non-wetsuit legal races.
After such a long break from racing, his goal at IronMan 70.3 Texas is simply to get back at racing, have fun, and see where he is at physically to mentally ready himself for his main goal this year of IM Coeur D’Alene in June. Given some of the challenges with the recent weather, no access to a treadmill, and a new puppy (Stella) his run training has been hampered; therefore, with the exception of the All Out Mardi Crawl Half-Marathon in Arvada in February, he has focused his efforts on increasing “Watts” on the bike and has been spending quality time on his Trainer to full effect by leveraging TrainerRoad to efficiently increase his power numbers.
In closing, Parker’s most memorable triathlon racing moment was his performance at IronMan 70.3 in St George in 2019. He had no expectations going into race and decided to “just turn off the electronics and just race”. To his surprise, he crossed the finish line with a monster breakthrough and a long course PR of 4:26. Something to be said about just going out without a watch and just swim, bike, and run.