Jen Orr, 43, a physical therapist from Murrieta, will attempt to break the World Ultra Cycling Association 24-Hour Solo Female World Record of 439.65 miles. The current record, held by Nancy Raposo, was set almost three decades ago, Sept. 22, 1992.
Orr is a newcomer to the ultra-cycling community and only entered her first 24-hour time trial in November 2017. Her results were an impressive 392.8 miles and an entry card for Solo Race Across America. In 2018, she won the 24-Hour World Time Trial Championships setting a new female course record of 456 miles.
In 2019, Orr not only won the overall female division of the 928-mile, non-stop Race Across the West, but she also beat the entire men’s field.
“That was an extraordinary accomplishment,” Orr said.
In just two short years, the Murrieta cyclist developed into an elite ultra-racer. Orr was originally scheduled to ride in the Race Across America, a non-stop, 3,000-mile race, but when RAAM was canceled due to COVID-19, she redirected her training to compete in the 24-hour WTTC. When WTTC was later also canceled, undeterred, Orr set her sights on breaking the WUCA Solo Female 24-Hour World Record.
Orr’s attempt took place on a 10-mile, on-road loop in Borrego Springs recently, and the Valley News Sports Department was still awaiting those results at the time of this article being published.
A limited number of spectators were permitted and welcomed, provided they followed local public health guidelines. Supporting and officiating Orr’s attempt was a crew of nearly 20 people including representatives from the WUCA, which was necessary to certify her results.
“The last three years have been amazing. I have never felt stronger, more determined and better prepared for such an extreme challenge. I look forward to emptying everything I have on the course and seeing where I end up,” Orr said.
Marko Baloh, who set the men’s 50-59 age group 24-Hour Solo World Record at 532.021 miles July 25, said, “The 24-Hour World Record is a different kind of beast… You have to push the pedals hard from start to finish. There can be no let up, you have to be prepared to suffer every minute of it.”
Bob Babbitt, Ironman Hall of Fame inductee, USA Triathlon Hall of Fame inductee and host of Babbittville Radio said, “The record was set over 30 years ago, and it’s about time it was broken. Good luck Jennifer!”
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.