Mean judges spell end of witch record

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A Pendle marathlete’s bid to have her London time branded as a Guinness world record has been dashed by mean-spirited officials.

Nicola Nuttall completed the London Marathon in April in a time of 3hrs 31mins while wearing a full-length witch’s dress and hat and carrying a broom.

But despite the Trawden Athletic Club runner sweeping aside the previous best time, going to the toil and trouble of compiling a coven of different independent witness statements as supporting evidence and sending off photographs of the dress to Guinness prior to the run, the record has not been recognised by adjudicators.

They say Nicola ran in an altered and “substantially shorter dress”, but Nicola blames the dress running up during the marathon.

Her cackles of glee have turned to groans of despair and no amount of charm has changed the minds of judges, spelling the end of her magical attempt.

Mum-of-two Nicola, from Barrowford, said: “I’m so disappointed. I feel like I’ve let everybody down. I feel like a failure.

“I’ve been back and forth to them but they have been so strict and inflexible.

“I have had the final response and there is no way they are going to change their minds.

“I bought the dress on eBay which was fine to run in and I sent the pics off to Guinness.

“Having sent it, they couldn’t see the splits up the side and I actually thought this might make it easier to run in so I added material to make it more difficult.

“I was told I had to run it under four hours and I did it in 3hrs 31mins so I’ve done it in 29 minutes under that time in a dress which had to go right down to my feet, while wearing a witch’s hat and carrying a broom all the way round.

“I got 16 different witness statements from people who were running from all over the country and the application has taken a great deal of time and effort. The on good thing is that I raised £1,700 for the Alzheimer’s Society.”

A spokesman for Guinness World Records said: “With all our records we have a set of guidelines in place beforehand to ensure that everyone who attempts this record has the same requirements to make it fair.

With costume records, we ask for the applicant to submit a photo beforehand of their costume so it can be approved by records management.

“Unfortunately, while Nicola’s pre-marathon photo met our guidelines of having a floor length dress, her photos from the day show her with a substantially shorter dress with slits cut in for more movement.

“On this basis, the evidence can’t be approved as much as we respect and admire Nicola raising money for charity and attempting to set a Guinness World Record in the process.”