Jessica Anderson had a very specific goal in mind when she ran the 2019 London Marathon last week: Break the Guinness World Record for the fastest women to run the marathon in a nurse’s uniform.
Alas, the venerable record keepers had not updated their concept of nursing workwear.
Anderson, a nurse at the Royal London Hospital, crossed the finish line in 3 hours 8 minutes 22 seconds, beating the record that had been set in 2015 by Sarah Dudgeon.
Unfortunately, Guinness disallowed the record because Anderson didn’t wear a dress. Instead, Anderson had run in the blue scrubs she actually wears in her job with the National Health Service.
“They said it had to be a white or blue dress, pinafore apron and white cap or it wouldn’t count as a record,” Anderson told the New York Times in an Instagram message.
“I didn’t want to wear that, so I chose to wear my real uniform instead because the title of the record is ‘fastest marathon in a nurse’s uniform,’” she added. “But was still aiming for the record time.”
Ms. Anderson also told the website Runner’s World on Friday: “I’m sure Guinness World Records don’t intend to cause offense, but it would be nice if they decided to revise their criteria instead of reinforcing old gender stereotypes. I get that it’s supposed to be a fun thing, but their definition is just so outdated.”
It wasn’t long before social media users and nurses began sharing photos of real-life nurses’ uniforms on Twitter under the hashtag #WhatNursesWear.
Following @GWR’s decision not to recognise @Janderzzz outstanding achievement as her nursing uniform didn’t match their specifications – a dress – please share a selfie wearing your uniform showing #WhatNursesWear
Let’s change the archaic view #StNProject https://t.co/shwoGOtdoW
— The Student Nurse Project (@StNurseProject) May 4, 2019
Guinness World records responded to the backlash by saying it would review the criteria for the record title.
Read the full story at The New York Times.