London Marathon nurse finally receives her Guinness World Records certificate

Jessica Anderson cited as ‘proof that not all heroes wear capes – some of them wear scrubs’

Jessica Anderson cited as ‘proof that not all heroes wear capes – some of them wear scrubs’

Senior sister Jessica Anderson with her record certificate and fundraiser award. Picture: Adam Warner

A nurse who initially had her London Marathon world record attempt disallowed for not wearing a skirt has now received her official title from Guinness World Records (GWR).

Barts Health NHS Trust senior sister Jessica Anderson was presented with her record certificate at an event in London last night.

Dispute over Guinness World Records decision led to U-turn

Ms Anderson wanted to be the quickest woman to run a marathon dressed as a nurse when she ran the 26.2-mile course wearing scrubs with trousers on 28 April 2019.

She crossed the finish line in a record 3.08:22, but was told by GWR that her record would only count if she was wearing a skirt. Its rules meant a ‘nurse’s uniform’ must include a blue or white dress, a pinafore apron and a traditional nurse’s cap.

But following an outcry and a wave of support from the profession, GWR overturned their decision and changed their policy.

At an event celebrating the achievements of Barts trust staff, Ms Anderson received her GWR record certificate and the Barts Charity Individual Fundraiser award for raising almost £6,000 for the organisation by running the marathon.

Record ‘may have helped to change stereotypical images’ of nursing

‘It was such a lovely surprise. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I got at the time, which led to the reversal of the original GWR decision,’ Ms Anderson said.

‘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.’

Jessica Anderson with awards presenter Simon Mayo (left) and Craig Glenday from Guinness World Records. Picture: Adam Warner

GWR editor-in-chief Craig Glenday, who attended the ceremony, said he was delighted to have presented the record certificate to Ms Anderson.

‘By doing so we not only celebrate her fantastic achievement last year, but also thank her for the subsequent positive changes made to GWR policies that Jessica and the #whatnurseswear campaign made us realise were long overdue,’ he said. 

Barts Charity director of engagement and fundraising Clare Chater said: ‘We’re delighted she got the recognition she deserved. Jess is proof that not all heroes wear capes – some of them wear scrubs.’

St Bartholomew’s Hospital staff nurse Suksung Lee was also recognised at last night’s event – he received a Barts Health Heroes award for saving a collapsed fellow runner’s life by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him during the London Pride Run 10k in August last year.

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