South Shields charity champ Colin Burgin-Plews was in pain throughout the gruelling 26.2 miles of the London Marathon – but was inspired to keep going by the people he’s raising money for.
The fundraiser, better known as the Big Pink Dress, had a tough time during yesterday’s event, and admitted that giving up crossed his mind several times.
But he pushed on, inspired by the women fighting breast cancer that he’s trying to help.
By the time he reached the finish line, 7hrs and 26mins after setting off, his socks were covered in blood and he was in incredible pain, but the dedicated dad says it was all worth it.
The 47-year-old, from West Harton, said: “It was horrendous, I’ve never been in so much pain in my life.
“About a mile in, my ankle went and straight away I was just in agony. I wanted to give up about 20 times, but I knew I had to keep going.
“I started focusing on the money I was raising for Breast Cancer Now and the women that they help.
“This was just one day for me, and yes I was in pain, but I’d be fine after a few days off my feet, but they won’t.
“I’m on my way home now and can just relax, but they can’t just get over what they’re going through that quickly. I had to keep going for them.”
Colin, who lives with wife Cath and son Ollie, had a big challenge on his hands, completing the race in a big pink dress which weighed more than three stone.
On his own, Colin stands at 6ft 6ins, but in his striking outfit, his height increases to 7ft 2ins, meaning he gets a lot of attention as he passes by.
He added: “People along the way were cheering for me and spurring me on and it was just brilliant.
“But the support I was getting online from people back home in South Shields was just immense.
“I posted on Facebook that I was having a tough time and I just got so many messages from people encouraging me to go on.
“By the time I got to the finish line, I had about 300 Twitter messages and over 100 on Facebook too. It was just amazing. I didn’t realise so many people were behind what I’m doing.”
Colin began his fundraising effort for Breast Cancer Now, after a friend was diagnosed with the disease.
He set himself a target of £100,000 in 10 years and has so far raised around £21,000.
Colin said: “My fundraising page went up by about £1,000 while I was doing the marathon. I couldn’t believe it.”
He broke two of his toes during the London Marathon last year, leading to problems with his ankle.
He faces surgery to fix the injury, and has an appointment with doctors on Friday.
Colin said: “Worst-case scenario is they’ll have to break my ankle and re-set everything.
“Hopefully it won’t come to that, but even if it does, I’ll be back out there as soon as I can.
“Nothing is going to stop me reaching my target.”
To sponsor Colin, go to www.justgiving.com/bigpinkdressvlm16/