Guinness World Record-breaking nurse has achievement recognised

An NHS nurse who was told that her world-record breaking marathon time would not be counted because she was wearing the wrong uniform, has had her achievement recognised.

Jessica Anderson was presented with her official Guinness World Record (GWR) certificate for fastest nurse in uniform to run a marathon at the Barts Health Heroes award ceremony on Tuesday evening.

Ms Anderson completed the 26-mile London Marathon course in 3.08:22 last year but was told after that her record would not count because she was wearing scrubs with trousers.

GWR said that the outfit that was too close to the requirements for a doctor’s uniform but has since apologised for its decision and acknowledged that its guidelines were “out of date”.

The original decision sparked a passionate response on social media, with lots of nurses sharing images of themselves in their uniform using the hashtag #WhatNursesWear.

Marathon record for Nurse overturned
Marathon record for Nurse overturned

Ms Anderson, who was handed the award by radio presenter Simon Mayo, said she was “overwhelmed” by the amount of support she had received.

“It was great that the story also shone some light on the nursing profession as a whole and may have helped to change some of the stereotypical images that are out there,” she said.

GWR editor in chief, Craig Glenday, congratulated Ms Anderson and thanked her for the “subsequent positive changes” made to GWR policies which were “long overdue”.

So last year, Jess Anderson ran the London Marathon in record time in her scrubs. ⁦@GWR⁩ said no, wrong outfit. Cue #whatnurseswear and a bit of a storm. Tonight it was all put right and ⁦@GWR⁩ said yes! Tonight Jess won her fundraising award #BHHeroes2020.

— Simon Mayo (@simonmayo) February 12, 2020

The previous record for fastest time run by a nurse in uniform was 3:08:54, set by Sarah Dudgeon in 2015.

A spokeswoman for Barts Health said: “Not only did Jess run 26.2 miles in record-breaking time, she raised over £5,800 for her hospital charity at the same time.

“We’re delighted she got the recognition she deserved.

“Jess is proof that not all heroes wear capes, some of them wear scrubs.”