Failure to wear a skirt means world record will not count -- Updated

When a UK nurse found out that only a skirt or dress qualify as a nurses uniform for the Guinness Book of World Records after she attempted to set a new world record at the London marathon. Guinness has since reversed this decision.

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
Failure to wear a skirt means world record will not count -- Updated - NewsMavens
Jessica Anderson, Instagram

Why this story matters:

Jessica Anderson attempted to set the Guinness World Record as the fastest woman marathon runner to finish the London Marathon dressed as a nurse. However, according to the criteria, the trousers that comprise part of her scrubs uniform were not acceptable -- a skirt or dress were her only choices.

According to the Guinness World Record (GWR) rules, which are quite strict when detailing costumes, the mandated uniform of a nurse must be a blue or white dress, stockings, a white pinafore apron and a traditional white nurse's cap. They therefore declined Anderson’s application to have the run recorded as a record attempt.

When asked about the decision, Anderson commented “I was quite taken aback when I read that they’d rejected my application and I did email them to ask them to reconsider but they said no. 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.”

GWR originally responded by saying they will review her application for the record. “Inclusiveness and respect are values that Guinness World Records holds extremely dear and while we always need to ensure we can differentiate between categories, it is quite clear that this record title and associated guidelines is long overdue a review which we will conduct as a priority in the coming days.”

UPDATE: Guinness has now awarded the record to Anderson, according to Samantha Fay, a senior vice president with Guinness: “It has become quite clear to Guinness World Records that our guidelines for the fastest marathon wearing a nurse’s uniform were outdated, incorrect and reflected a stereotype we do not in any way wish to perpetuate,” Ms. Fay said

Details from the story:

  • Anderson finished the marathon in 3 hours, 8 minutes and 22 seconds beating the current record by 32 seconds.
  • Anderson has worked at the Royal London Hospital for seven years.
  • More than 40,000 people participated in the 26.2 mile event. 
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