Charity champion Colin Burgin-Plews is overjoyed after being asked to kick off the Siglion Sunderland City 10k run.
The fundraiser - better known as the Big Pink Dress - is set to start the race on May 7 from Keel Square, wearing a special dress in the Sunderland AFC colours for the occasion.
The 48-year-old, who is a regular face at events like the Great North Run, was asked to do the honours by event organisers following his announcement he would be walking the race circuit on March 19, ahead of the big day itself, due to injury.
Colin, from West Harton, South Shields, said he was delighted to be asked.
He said: “I just had a phone call from the organisers asking me to be the official starter for the race and I was absolutely gobsmacked.
“I was the starter for the Junior Great North Run last year and thought then ‘why are they picking me?’ Now I have been asked again, which is amazing.
“It is great. I was a little bit disappointed not to be able to take part in the race itself due to my operation, so now that I can still be part of it I have cheered right up!”
Colin, who is known for raising funds for Breast Cancer Now, says he has raised over £50,000 for the charity over the last three years.
He had hit this year’s £500 target for taking part in the event but had to pull out as he is due to undergo a ankle operation on March 30, which could see him out of action for months.
Colin, who is dad to Oliver, 18, added: “On hearing the news some people have said they couldn’t think of a better person to do it and I couldn’t believe how kind they have been to say that. “I am thrilled to be asked as I just see myself as a bloke who runs in a dress to raise some money.”
Colin will set off from Keel Square at 10.30am on Sunday, March 19, when he walk the 10k to raise funds for Breast Cancer Now.
To donate to his appeal please visit: www.justgiving.com/bigsafcdress