Trying life as Big Pink Dress man: This is what it’s like for Colin Burgin-Plews to prepare for and run races

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.
Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

There’s a saying .... don’t judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

When that man is Colin Burgin-Plews, it’s not so much shoes as big pink dress.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Chris Cordner gave it a go.

I tried and within moments of trying to gauge the sheer lengths this man has gone to for charity, I was in awe.

Walk a mile? I couldn’t walk more than a few steps.

Related: Big Pink Dress man Colin Burgin-Plews bids farewell after raising £104,000 and donning 56 dresses

I never take in water on a run. It’s a bit difficult to get out of the outfit if I need to go to the toilet

Colin Burgin-Plews

To get an insight into Colin Burgin-Plews world, I tried out one of his running ‘outfits’ and soon realised the enormous 3-stone 9 lbs dress was almost impossible to run in.

Just getting it on was quite a process.

* There’s a body suit which goes under the dresses he wears. It’s massive and bulky.

“Because of all the stuff which goes on top of it, you pretty much have to have scaffolding,” said Colin. “I use bean bag balls which is alright but it creates heat when you are walking.”

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

To put it into context, Colin loses 9 to 10lb a race in perspiration.

* There’s a hoop which fits on top of that and gives the outfit its shape.

* There’s an enormous dress which is so big, it obstructs your view of the floor. Unless you’re a strapping 6ft 6ins giant of a man.

* To complete the look, there’s the massive headwear. Colin’ have sometimes been so big, it has taken his total look to more than 8ft 1ins tall.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

By the time it is all in place, the whole costume is stifling, heavy and severely restricts any movement.

After a matter of minutes, I was sweating profusely.

Yet the man himself has walked more than 26 miles at times to raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

He told us about the challenges of ‘running’ in such a huge and complicated outfit.

He has run in dresses while temperatues reaching 33 degrees blazed down on him.

He admitted to never taking in water on his long runs.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Why? “It’s a bit difficult to get out of the outfit if I need to go to the toilet,” he admitted.

So the next time you’re thinking of tackling a big run - and well done to you if you are - just think of the man who does all of that with three stone of extra baggage on him.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.

Chris Cordner meets Colin Burgin-Plews and finds out what it is like to wear his Big Pink Dress. Picture by Tom Banks.