Jessica Anderson trained for the London marathon with one goal: she wanted to be the fastest woman to complete the career dressed as a nurse.
Breaking the Guinness world record was "a challenge, but not totally out of reach," Anderson said, and on Sunday he accomplished the feat: by pbading the marathon finish line 22 seconds faster than three hours, eight minutes and 54 seconds. Record.
But his time was not enough to take the title, according to Guinness World Records, whose criteria for a nurse's uniform are based on mid-twentieth-century stereotypes.
Because Anderson ran in medical gowns and not in a dress, he did not qualify as a person who broke the record.
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In February, Anderson, a nurse at Royal London Hospital for seven years, requested to be considered for the competition. According to Guinness guidelines, he attached photos of his proposed marathon suit, the uniform he wears daily: a blue blouse and pants.
Anderson was "quite surprised" to learn that her application had been rejected because her attire "did not meet her criteria." The Guinness guidelines specified "a white or blue dress, an apron apron and a white cap," Anderson said. The Washington Post. (The stockings were optional.)
"That did not seem good to me," he said. "After that, it was too late to send it back, but I did not want to change my outfit anyway."
Although the submission deadline had pbaded, he also wrote to Guinness officials.
In a letter seen by The Washington Post, On February 19, the nurse at Royal London Hospital described the criteria as "obsolete and frankly quite badist".
"This is my nursing uniform that I use for work and it baffles me that it does not qualify as a disguise for a faster marathon attempt with a nurse's uniform," he wrote, asking to be addressed to whomever. I was. The position to revise the uniform criteria.
Two days later, he received an answer.
In a message to Anderson, reviewed by The Post, a Guinness official explained that his attire had too many similarities with Guinness's requirements for the "fastest-dressed doctor's marathon" (which included robes, a white coat and a stethoscope). Without the "old and stereotyped attire," Guinness was concerned that the nurse's disguise was not properly differentiated from the doctor's.
The official also resorted to other categories by way of comparison: "Marathons dressed as a brownie or explorer", which also require "older fashion outfits" and not the modern clothing worn by the scouting community, and marathons dressed as a chef , which require "a chef hat to use and a large pot to carry, while a number of chefs do not wear hats".
The note also clarified that the nurse's dress and apron requirement was the same for men and women who competed as nurses.
Anderson, who works in the Acute Admissions Unit and ran to raise money for her neighborhood, felt that the uniformity criteria were "obsolete."
"Of course, I've never seen a nurse dressed in a dress for work," he said in an interview with Runner & # 39; s World, adding that most nurses in the hospital wear robes, tunics or pants.
Anderson asked Guinness to reconsider his request and was denied a second time. Still, he ran the marathon on Sunday and, with or without the Guinness award, broke the record for the fastest time with exfoliants.
Although Guinness has not given Anderson the title of woman quicker, the company seems to have taken her demand seriously. Instead of reinforcing gender stereotypes, it has committed to re-evaluating its criteria.
In a statement on Sunday, Guinness World Records said: "Inclusion and respect are values that Guinness World Records considers extremely valuable and, while we must always make sure we can differentiate the categories, it is quite clear that this record title is due to In the long term, we review what we will do as a priority in the coming days. "
Anderson is pleased that her career has sparked an argument, but attributes any change in the Guinness rules to the great public support she received.
"Everyone, from nursing students to the chief nurses, has come together," he said. "They have made a selfie wearing their uniform with the hashtag #whatnurseswear".