‘Big Pink Dress’ has raised £150,000 for worthy causes since first donning one of his signature outfits for the 2014 Great North Run.

Since then he has met famous people including Nancy Sinatra, been through two major health issues, covered thousands of miles and won awards.

He told the Gazette: “I sincerely think this will be my last year doing it. I competed in the London Marathon in October and I think it will be my last.

Register to our daily newsletter

Colin Burgin-Plews whose fundraising hit the £150,000 mark.

“I know I’ve talked about retiring before, but it’s getting harder and harder.”

Colin has been suffering from health issues since 2019. After experiencing chest pains and numbness in his arm, he went straight to South Tyneside District Hospital, where doctors told him he might have a problem with a heart valve.

He had a CT scan and now has to take tablets to control the problem for the rest of his life.

Colin Burgin-Plews, aka the Big Pink Dress, in his latest handcrafted creation after completing the Great North Run in 2018.

Two years later there was more bad news when a biopsy revealed he had skin cancer. The news came just weeks after Colin lost his mother Pat to cancer when she was 76.

It was in June 2021 that he underwent surgery to remove the mole which left him with 16 stitches and a four-inch scar, and experts told him he needed to be checked every three months for a skin cancer.

Once again he retaliated by fundraising.

Colin Burgin-Plews at the start of his sponsored walk outside South Tyneside District Hospital in 2020.

And it wasn’t just running that Colin did.

Now, however, he is ready to step back from the spotlight, but with a huge thank you to everyone who has supported him.

“I never thought I would hit £150,000, but it was never about milestones for me,” he said. “I was so lucky that people were so nice to me.”

Colin won the Special Recognition Award at the Best of South Tyneside Awards 2018.

He added: “It was a huge privilege to do this and I just want to say thank you to everyone. It makes a big difference when you’re running those errands to have all that support.

He still remembers the first time he put on a big pink dress for the Great North Run in 2014. The charity he was running for had a pink color theme.

He previously told the Gazette: “I only had one thing that was pink. It was a dress I made for a Stars In Your Eyes party where I performed as Diana Ross and the Supremes. So I rocked the Far North Run in there!”

Colin raised thousands and a legend was born. Among his many accolades, he won the Special Recognition Award at the Best of South Tyneside Awards 2018.

Read more

Read more

Schoolchildren run for benefit of Boldon Colliery heritage group as members aim to create…

Colin was the official starter for City Runs in the Sunderland City Runs 2021 event.
Piece pictured during the Sunderland City Runs 10k earlier this month.