The Fridge and The Frock resting up after Great North Run

Tony 'The Fridge' Phoenix-Morrison and Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews
Tony 'The Fridge' Phoenix-Morrison and Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews

Charity runners The Fridge and The Frock are resting up after a hard slog in the name of charity.

Colin Burgin-Plews, better known as the Big Pink Dress, drew a lot of attention at this year’s Great North Run in his special outfit.

The 47-year-old, who fundraises for Breast Cancer Now, created a dress that features the flags of the 193 countries represented in the half marathon.

Colin, from West Harton, South Shields, completed the 13.1-mile course in 3hrs 40mins.

The dad-of-one said: “I’m quite pleased with that because I stopped a few times along the way for interviews and it took me four hours last year.

“This was actually my 13th Great North Run but only the third as Big Pink Dress, and my new dress got me a lot of attention.”

He added: “It was so hot that I felt like an overcooked turkey and there were times when I felt like I couldn’t go on, but the crowd is amazing and they just spur you on all the way.

“I do events all over the country but the Great North Run is the pinnacle for me and it’s got the best crowd by far. This is the one event I crave every year.”

Colin was invited by event organisers to set off with the VIPs taking part in the run.

He said: “I met all the celebrities before the start and I even met Brendan Foster and to meet the man who started the Great North Run was amazing.

“He told me he thought what I do is brilliant and I couldn’t believe it.”

He’d planned to cross the finish line along with Tony Phoenix-Morrison, better known as Tony The Fridge, but unfortunately they were separated early into the run and didn’t manage to find their way back to each other.

Sunday was particularly special for Tony, 51, from Hebburn, as it marked his 100th Great North Run in 100 days – all while carrying a 42kg fridge on his back.

Tony, who raised funds for Saras Hope Foundation, which supports cancer survivors, said: “I did the run in about 2hr 40mins and it was a magical day.

“I started off in the celebrity bit but met up with my team at the 1-mile marker and we started singing You’ll Never Work Alone and everyone joined in.

“I’ve done hundreds of marathons and half marathons and I’ve never experienced an atmosphere like the one on Sunday, it was just amazing.”

Tony says the last 100 days has seen him make some life-long friends.

He said: “I didn’t really get the media very involved because I wanted to just go out there and do it on my own rather than be in the paper all the time.

“The thing is though, I was never alone for one step of the way. I met people along the route who have become life-long friends and came out to see me every single day.

“There was even a little boy called Leo who came out on Sunday with his own little Smeg fridge on his back and I got everyone to chant ‘Leo the Fridge’ at him.

“My son Rocco, who is only 10, joined me for a lot of it as well, and on Saturday even did the whole Great North Run route with me.”