A British nurse who was denied a Guinness World Record because she ran the London Marathon wearing modern-day scrubs instead of an old-fashioned dress has been granted the title after a backlash.
Jessica Anderson finished the race in 3 hours, 8 minutes and 22 seconds — beating the previous record, set in 2015, for fastest marathon by a woman in a nurse’s uniform by 32 seconds.
But the book of Guinness World Records said her scrubs — her real uniform at Royal London Hospital — did not meet their definition, which includes a blue or white dress, an apron and a traditional cap.
Her snub sparked a huge outcry by other nurses who posted photos of themselves in scrubs to social media.
“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quite clear to Guinness World Records that our guidelines for the fastest marathon wearing a nurse’s uniform were outdated, incorrect and reflected a stereotype we do not in any way wish to perpetuate,” Guinness VP Samantha Fay said in a statement.
“I want to take this opportunity to reassure everybody concerned that [GWR] is absolutely committed to ensuring we uphold the highest standards of equality and inclusiveness. We unreservedly apologize and accept full responsibility for the mishandling of Jessica Anderson’s application,” she added.
Anderson, an employee of the National Health Service at the Royal London hospital’s acute admissions unit, said on Instagram that she was “delighted” by Guinness’s decision.
“For me the issue went beyond achieving a world record. I made a conscious decision to wear my uniform for the race, knowing that the record attempt wouldn’t be counted,” she wrote.
“While nursing uniforms vary, one thing they have in common is that they are designed for professional women AND men who care for people in all sorts of ways across the world.
“I would have been doing a disservice to my profession if I had worn a fancy dress costume,” she added.