Nurse Denied Marathon World Record Because She Didn't Wear A Dress
Jessica Anderson completed the London Marathon in 3:08:22, breaking the 2015 record by 32 seconds, but it doesn't count because she was wearing pants.
The London nurse, who has been working for the Royal London Hospital's acute admission unit for seven years, was dressed in standard, modern-day medical scrubs when she crossed the finish line on April 28.
Despite breaking the world record, Anderson's time won't be recognised by the Guinness World Records because the uniform didn't meet the criteria.
Officials told the nurse that she needed to be dressed in a pinafore and cape -- tights optional -- for her time to be accepted.
To be fair, she was told before she ran the gruelling race that her time wouldn't count.
"I was quite taken aback when I read that they'd rejected my application and I did email them to ask them to reconsider but they said no," she told Runners World.
She claims she was told the costume rules would apply to men or women running for a record bid.
"I get that it’s supposed to be a fun thing but their definition is just so outdated," she continued. "Some of the nurses I work with do wear dresses but mostly we wear scrubs or a tunic and trousers. I’ve certainly never seen a male nurse wearing a dress to work."
Anderson's story quickly gained traction and prompted many nurses, worldwide, to tweet pictures of themselves in uniform, very few in dresses, along with the hashtag What Nurses Wear.
Others used the hashtag to simply take aim at the "offensive gender stereotypes".
The rule is even more puzzling when you go back through the record books and look at all of the bizarre records that have been broken at a marathon.
They include runners dressed as a telephone box, a star and a crustacean.
GWR has since admitted that its guidelines are "long overdue for a review".
In a statement, Senior Vice President, Samantha Fay, said GWR "takes the matters of equality and inclusiveness very seriously" and that a review will "begin as a priority".
"We are also committed to consistent reviews of all record categories to ensure they reflect the world we live in today," she continued.
It's not yet clear if that means Anderson will be awarded the title or if the criteria will only be changed for future attempts.
In good news though, the nurse raised close to 3,800 pounds -- AU$7,200 -- for Barts Charity by Monday morning, a nonprofit organization that supports the acute admissions unit where she works in East London.