LIFE

Woman Denied World Record For Fastest Marathon Dressed As A Nurse Because She’s Wearing Pants

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

It’s a tradition for people to run marathons in costumes, and for some people, it’s a fun way to set a new world record.

At the 2019 London Marathon, runners set new Guinness World Records for the fastest marathon dressed as a tent, fastest marathon dressed as a zombie, and fastest marathon in a wedding dress, among others.

But one woman’s world record attempt was unexpectedly stymied. Jessica Anderson, a nurse at the Royal London Hospital, ran all 26 miles of the London Marathon dressed in her work scrubs. She successfully broke the previous record for the fastest marathon dressed as a nurse.

But according to the Guinness World Records, Jessica’s attempt doesn’t count. She wore pants instead of a skirt or dress.

The organization told Jessica beforehand that she’d need to wear a blue-and-white dress, apron, and nurse’s cap. Instead, Jessica wore what she actually wears to work — scrubs and pants. Officials said that her outfit is too close to the organization’s definition of a doctor’s costume.

Needless to say, Jessica wasn’t happy with the decision. When’s the last time you saw a nurse in anything but scrubs and pants?

“Their definition is just so outdated,” Jessica told Runner’s World, per Fox 43. “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.”

Thankfully, after all of the uproar over Jessica being denied the world record, Guinness World Records reversed its decision, per the New York Times.

“Over the weekend 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quite clear to Guinness World Records that our guidelines for the fastest marathon wearing a nurse’s uniform were outdated, incorrect and reflected a stereotype we do not in any way wish to perpetuate,” the organization’s statement read, in part. “Having received the official timings from London Marathon this morning we are pleased to award Jessica with the Guinness World Records title for the fastest marathon wearing a nurse’s uniform for her attempt on Sunday 28 April (3 hours, 8 minutes and 22 seconds), and have notified her as such.”

Congrats to Jessica on a well-deserved world record win!

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