Nurse fails in London Marathon record bid ‘because she wore trousers’

NHS nurse, Jessica Anderson, completed the London course in 3:08:22 while wearing scrubs, but was told she would not count for ‘quickest nurse’

Press Association
Last updated: 4 May 2019 - 10.50pm

An NHS nurse was told her marathon world record attempt would only count if she completed the famous London race wearing a skirt.

Jessica Anderson, who works at the Royal London Hospital, wanted to be the quickest woman to complete a 26.2 mile race dressed as a nurse.

But, despite crossing the finish line in 3.08:22 last Sunday, Guinness World Records (GWR) told Ms Anderson her attempt would not count because she was wearing scrubs with trousers.

GWR rules stipulated that a nurse’s uniform must include: a blue or white dress, a pinafore apron, and a traditional nurse’s cap.

Officials told Ms Anderson that scrubs are too close to the fancy dress requirements for a doctor’s uniform.

Speaking to magazine Runner’s World, the senior sister called the rules “outdated”, and said: “I was quite taken aback when I read that they’d rejected my application.

“Some of the nurses I work with do wear dresses, but mostly we wear scrubs or a tunic and trousers.”

GWR has since pledged to look into their costume policy.

It said in a statement on Saturday: “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 is long overdue a review, which we will conduct as a priority in the coming days.”

Ms Anderson, who raised more than £2,200 for Barts Health NHS Trust, hopes GWR will stop “reinforcing old gender stereotypes”.

She added: “I’m sure Guinness World Records don’t intend to cause offence, but it would be nice if they decided to revise their criteria.”

The official world record for a woman running a marathon in a nurse’s uniform is held by Sarah Dudgeon, who set a time of 3:08:54 in 2015.

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