Who Is Jessica Anderson? New Details On The Nurse Who Set Marathon Record In Nurse's Uniform

Jessica Anderson set a new world record. Why wouldn't Guinness recognize it?

Who Is Jessica Anderson? New Details On The Nurse Who Set Marathon Record In Nurse's Uniform getty

In April, British nurse Jessica Anderson crossed the finish line of the London Marathon in an impressive 3:08:22 and she did it in her nurse’s uniform. Her time broke the Guinness World record for fastest Marathon While Wearing A Nurse’s Uniform, but there was a catch — Guinness didn’t think Jessica’s blue scrubs counted as a real nurse's uniform. They refused to award her the world record. While Guinness may have thought the only correct type of workwear for nurses is the old fashioned dress and cap, nurses today wear different clothing and Jessica Anderson is no exception, either at work or while running. The protest around the decision prompted Guinness to issue a reversal but it took a lot of nurses on social media pressuring them to update their standards before they did. Who is Jessica Anderson? Read on for all the details.


1. New record

The Heavy reports that the prior record was from 2015, when a runner named Sara Dudgeon finished in 03:08:54, while wearing an old-school style nurse's dress and cap. Jessica took up the cause in a more modern nursing uniform, one approved by the British National Health Service, but not by Guinness World records. Her finishing time was 3:08:22, more than 30 seconds faster than Dudgeon.

Sarah Dudgeon is the previous record holder.


2. Charity runner

Like many people who participate in marathons, Jessica turned this into an opportunity to raise money to help others in need. She was running in support of Bart’s Charity, which The Heavy reports is an organization that supports “the remarkable work of staff and researchers at the Bart's Health group of hospitals and Bart's and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, funding ground-breaking research, state-of-the-art equipment and innovative healthcare projects” The level of publicity around her record has helped her raise over 5000 British pounds for the organization.



A post shared by Jessica Anderson (@janderzzz) on Apr 7, 2019 at 10:33am PDT

She works for the NHS and supports medical casues. 


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3. Marathon veteran

Jessica has been running for quite a while. The Heavy notes that her Instagram feed features a lot of photos of herself and her boyfriend Leon Cerrone running marathons in different locations. Cerrone actually ran her record setting marathon with her, acting as her pacer to keep her on track for her goal time. She is also part of a group called Run Dem Crew, which bills itself as “a collective of creative heads with a passion for exploration of cities and bringing people together through the love of running.”



A post shared by Jessica Anderson (@janderzzz) on Nov 8, 2018 at 10:52am PST


Jeesica at the 2018 New York Marathon.

4. Record denied

But all was not rosy in this attempt at breaking a world record. Jessica had been in touch with Guinness months before the April 3rd race and was told that she missed the deadline for submissions related to costumes and was told that what constituted a nurse’s costume for purposes of the record was a “white or blue dress, pinafore apron and white cap.” Jessica, like many of her nursing colleagues, typically wears more contemporary clothes to work and decided to run the race in a pair of hospital scrubs. Scrubs are approved work gear for nurses in Britain. The denial of the record based on her nurse’s uniform not being exactly to old-fashioned specifications caused a bit of an outcry on social media. Nurses started posting photos of themselves at work with the hashtag #WhatNursesWear.



A post shared by Jessica Anderson (@janderzzz) on Mar 27, 2019 at 12:08pm PDT


Nurses typically wear scrubs to work.

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5. Response to Guinness

Jessica was prepared to take the loss of an official record in stride but she did have a few words for the Guinness organization on the matter. She told Runners World“I’m sure Guinness World Records don’t intend to cause offense, but it would be nice if they decided to revise their criteria instead of reinforcing old gender stereotypes. I get that it’s supposed to be a fun thing, but their definition is just so outdated.”



A post shared by Jessica Anderson (@janderzzz) on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:57pm PDT


Jessica at the London Marathon finish line.

6. Record holder after all

The folks at Guinness heard the outcry and realized the error of their ways. This weekend, they made an announcement on the website about a change of criteria and awarded Jessica the record she deserved. Their statement read: "Over the weekend it has become quite clear to Guinness World Records that our guidelines for the fastest marathon wearing a nurse’s uniform were outdated, incorrect and reflected a stereotype we do not in any way wish to perpetuate. Having received the official timing from London Marathon this morning we are pleased to award Jessica with the Guinness World Records title for the fastest marathon wearing a nurse’s uniform for her attempt on Sunday 28 April (3 hours, 8 minutes and 22 seconds), and have notified her as such."



A post shared by Jessica Anderson (@janderzzz) on May 7, 2019 at 11:28am PDT


Victory at last.

Congratulations to Jessica on her new world record.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.