'Big Pink Dress' fundraising hero Colin Burgin-Plews set to take on biggest challenge yet after mother's death

Fundraising hero Colin Burgin-Plews is back fundraising once more – and this time he has a very personal reason to complete his latest mission.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 7:00 am

‘Big Pink Dress’ is planning to do 40 half marathons for Macmillan in the lead-up to the 2021 Great North Run in memory of his mother Pat Walker who died three weeks ago, aged 76, after a year-long battle with cancer.

The first 33 runs will all be done in T-shirts and running gear but the last seven will be in one of his iconic dresses which he has made famous.

Colin, 52, said: "For the first time, this is personal. Macmillan were amazing with my mother. They came in to help and they were incredible. I am so glad that they were there. It is so heartwarming to know they were there for her.

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Colin Burgin-Plews who is fundraising in memory of his mother.

"I want to do whatever I can to pay them back.”

He has chosen 40 runs because it is the ‘40th year of the Great North Run’. The first runs in T-shirts will depict the GNR from 1981 to 2013 and the rest will mark 2014 onwards – a year which has so much significance for the South Shields man.

‘Big Pink Dress’ has become a fundraising hero since he first ran in a dress in 2014. He ran the Great North Run and, that year, the charity he was running for had a pink colour theme.

Colin feared he wouldn’t make the £350 fundraising target in 2014 ... he raised thousands.

Colin Burgin-Plews who is fundraising for Macmillan.

Since then, Colin has had health issues and had to ease back from running in June 2019 when doctors discovered problems with his heart.

After experiencing chest pains and numbness in his arm while at home, Colin went straight to South Tyneside District Hospital, where doctors told him he may have a problem with a valve in his heart, exacerbated by high blood pressure.

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

Colin Burgin-Plews who plans to raise money for Macmillan.

In April of 2020, he said a very personal thank you when he did the ‘10k Rainbow Dress NHS Walk’ to thank the heroes who had saved his life.

And Colin’s incredible support for charity did not end there in 2020.

Now, he is doing another charity mission and it is so personal to him. He will have to do one or two half marathons a week to reach the 40 total before the Great North Run in September.

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

The first of his runs will be on Good Friday but he is in good shape. “I am out every day,” he said, "I am doing two to three miles a day and eight to ten on a weekend. I am trying to keep as fit as possible.”

To support Colin’s efforts, visit here

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Colin Burgin-Plews at the start of asponsored walk outside of South Tyneside District Hospital in 2020.
Colin's mum Pat who he will run in memory of while he does 40 half marathons.