LONDON, England (Gray News) - The world record-breaking run of a nurse who completed the London Marathon was told by Guinness World Records her attempt would not count because she wore scrubs instead of a dress.
Guinness World Records says its guidelines for a nurse's uniform consist of a blue and white dress, apron and a traditional nurse’s cap. (Source: Pexels)
Jessica Anderson, a nurse at the Royal London Hospital, ran the London Marathon last Sunday in scrubs, the outfit she wears at work every day, according to CNN. Her goal was to beat the world record for the fastest marathon time while dressed as a nurse.
However, when she contacted Guinness World Records prior to the race, she was told she needed to wear a blue and white dress, apron and a traditional nurse’s cap.
Anderson told Runner's World she asked Guinness to reconsider the decision, but it refused.
"I get that it’s supposed to be a fun thing, but their definition is just so outdated.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,” she said.
If Guinness had accepted her application, Anderson would have beaten the world record. She finished the marathon in 3 hours, 8 minutes and 22 seconds. It was 32 seconds faster than the previous record, CNN reported.
Anderson’s story prompted nurses of all genders to tweet pictures of themselves in their work outfits. Some pointed out they aren’t required to wear a uniform at all.
Guinness has since announced its intention to review the criteria for the record, saying it would be a priority.
"Guinness World Records takes the matters of equality and inclusiveness very seriously. I want to ensure all concerned that we have recognised the need for an immediate review of this attempt. ... We are also committed to consistent reviews of all record categories to ensure they reflect the world we live in today,” said Samantha Fay, senior vice president of Guinness World Records, in a statement.
While Anderson said it would be “perfect” if Guinness acknowledges her run, it’s more important that the guidelines are modernized, according to BBC News.
"I would be quite happy if they changed it in the future or acknowledged that it's sexist and it's not really how we want the profession to be represented,” Anderson said.
Guinness officials initially said full-body scrubs were too close to its definition of a doctor’s uniform, and it wanted to make sure world record categories could be differentiated from each other.
Anderson told the BBC if she doesn’t get the title, she’s tempted to try to break the record again next year.
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