Marathon-running nurse denied Guinness record for not wearing a skirt

by Kim Boateng Posted on May 6th, 2019

London:  A British nurse who ran the London Marathon in her uniform says she has been denied a Guinness World Records listing because she wasn’t wearing a skirt.

Jessica Anderson ran last week’s marathon in a time of 3.08:22, half a minute faster than the existing marathon record for a woman in a nurse’s uniform.

Anderson says she was informed that her uniform of medical scrubs with trousers didn’t meet Guinness’s rules for a nurse’s uniform: a blue or white dress, apron and a traditional cap.

Anderson told Runner’s World magazine the rules were outdated and reinforced “old gender stereotypes.”

Guinness World Records said Saturday “it is quite clear that this record title is long overdue a review, which we will conduct as a priority in the coming days.”

According to GWR rules, a nurse’s uniform consists of a blue or white dress, a pinafore apron, and a traditional nurse’s cap.

GWR added that Anderson’s scrubs were too similar to the official requirements for a doctor’s uniform.

Anderson told Runner’s World that she was “taken aback” when she read the rejection letter from GWR.

“I get that it’s supposed to be a fun thing but their definition is just so outdated.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.

When she asked them to reconsider, they said no, 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 instead of reinforcing old gender stereotypes.”

In a statement issued on Saturday, Guinness World Records said they would be “reviewing their guidelines” in the upcoming days.

“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.”

Anderson ran the marathon in her uniform because she wanted to raise funds for her unit’s charity fund, said her fundraising page. She set up a target of €645 for the race but surpassed her goal after contributors kept donating money after the race following GWR’s decision. By Sunday afternoon, her fundraising page said she had raised more than €3,500.

Leave a Reply