Nurse Denied Guinness World Record Because She Didn't Wear a Skirt During London Marathon

Jessica Anderson was disqualified from achieving the Guinness World Record due to her outfit during the London Marathon

Jessica Anderson
Photo: Eric Tolentino

A nurse who set out to break the Guinness World Record for running the London Marathon dressed as a nurse is now being denied that title — strictly due to her choice of attire.

Jessica Anderson, who is a nurse at the Royal London Hospital, competed in the marathon on April 28, wearing her usual work outfit: scrubs and pants, which was not approved of by the organization, CNN reported.

According to Britain’s Associated Press, Anderson was told before the race by Guinness World Record officials that she would need to wear a blue and white dress, apron, and a traditional nurse’s cap for her marathon run to be counted. However, Anderson opted to wear her scrubs and pants, which has eliminated her from achieving her goal.

In response to the decision, Anderson told magazine Runner’s World, “Their definition is just so outdated. Some of the nurses I work with do wear dresses but mostly we wear scrubs or a tunic and trousers. I’ve certainly never seen a male nurse wearing a dress to work.”

“I’m sure Guinness World Records don’t intend to cause offense but it would be nice if they decided to revise their criteria instead of reinforcing old gender stereotypes,” she added.

Anderson — who beat the previous record by 32 seconds with a time of 3 hours, 8 minutes and 22 seconds — initially asked the organization to reverse their decision, but they denied her request. However, they have since said they would review their rule in a statement shared online.

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“Guinness World Records takes the matters of equality and inclusiveness very seriously. I want to ensure all concerned that we have recognized the need for an immediate review of this attempt and the fastest marathon dressed as a nurse category and associated guidelines which we will begin as a priority. We are also committed to consistent reviews of all record categories to ensure they reflect the world we live in today,” the statement read.

Anderson created a fundraising target of £500 ($660), but upon news of Guinness World Record’s decision, her page reached over £4,530 ($5933) thanks to more than 200 supporters.

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