South Shields charity legend The Big Pink Dress to end his fundraising stint on a £151,000 high at Great North Run 2022
Fundraising superstar Colin Burgin-Plews is days away from his very last run – and told the Gazette: “It is the right time to go.”
‘Big Pink Dress’ will end eight years of incredible support for others when he crosses the finishing line at the Great North Run on September 11.
He has raised £151,000, sported some fantastically stylish gowns, and backed wonderful causes, but Colin admitted: “I just know it is the right time.”
And as his last race looms, aptly in his home town South Shields, he added: “I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me. It would take forever to name everyone but they have been amazing.”
Colin’s final dress will be multi-coloured and feature iconic North East scenes, such as the Tyne Bridge and the Angel of the North.
He’s not looking for a record time to bow out with.
“I just want to get round the course in one piece,” he said.
He has to take tablets to control the problem for the rest of his life.
He said: “I will never be better with my heart. My breathing is horrendous. The oxygen is not getting round as it used to.”
But Colin will say goodbye to the GNR with a lifetime of memories. One in particular stands out, from 2017. “I stopped to take a selfie on the Tyne Bridge and I tripped over the back of my dress. I fell over and really banged my head but lots of people helped me to get back up.”
In typical Colin style, he finished the race and said the support from the crowds was ‘phenomenal’.
He previously told the Gazette: "I only had one thing that was pink. It was a dress that I’d made for a Stars In Your Eyes night where I sang as Diana Ross and the Supremes. So I rocked up to the Great North Run in that!"
Since then, he has won many honours including the Special Recognition trophy at the 2018 Best of South Tyneside Awards.
His most poignant memory of fundraising was at the London Marathon.
“I met a lady who had a few weeks left to live. One of the last things on her bucket list was to come down and meet me and get a hug from me.
"She survived for another one and a half years and she said it was the hug that kept her going.”
Now comes his last run. It promises to be an emotional day at the Great North Run and he admitted: “I will be a bit upset along the way. It has been a major part of my life for nearly a decade.
"But it is time to pass the baton, or the high heels, to someone else.”