A London marathoner lost a hoped-for “fastest nurse” world record title earlier this year because she wasn’t wearing a dress.
Jessica Anderson aimed to be the fastest woman to complete a marathon dressed as a nurse. But Guinness World Records refused to recognize her accomplishment of crossing the finish line at the London Marathon last month at 3:08:22 because she wasn’t wearing a nurse’s dress, even though many male and female nurses wear pants.
A woman who wants to break the official record must wear a “white or blue dress, pinafore apron and white cap,” Anderson told The Washington Post. She wore medical scrubs during the race.
Anderson penned an angry letter to Guinness back in February after her application was rejected, calling the dress code “outdated, and frankly, quite sexist.”
“This is my actual nursing uniform which I wear to work,” Anderson wrote. “It baffles me that it doesn’t qualify as a costume for an attempt at ‘fastest marathon in a nurse’s uniform.’”
A Guinness official responded that the requirements had to remain “old-fashioned” or a runner might be mistaken for a doctor. The official insisted that the dress and apron requirement was the same for a female or male nurse.
Anderson told Runner’s World that she has never seen a male nurse wear a dress to work.
Despite the rejection, Anderson decided to participate in the London Marathon, which she ran to raised funds for a charity.
Guinness is now reviewing its policies, according to a statement sent to the Post.