Colin’s #GreatNorthStory: “I’m running in memory of my friend who died from breast cancer.”

Today (Sunday, September 10) thousands of people will arrive in Newcastle to run the Great North Run’s 13.1 mile course. Colin Burgin-Plews is one of those individuals who will be pounding the pavements of the city and South Shields.

The seasoned runner, who is known for running in his Big Pink Dress, will be taking to the gruelling course in a very different dress to raise money for Breast Cancer Now.

This year the 49-year-old is running in his homemade Big Memories Dress which is filled with roses that contain memories from loved ones.

Dress: Colin Burgin-Plew’s Big Memories dress that he will wear in this year’s Great North Run/photo by Colin Burgin-Plews.

Mr Burgin-Plews, from South Shields, said: “A friend of mine was planting a rose for her daughter in a memory garden so I thought it [the dress] would be a good way to give back.”

Catering manager Colin began raising money in 2014 after losing his dear friend Marilyn Jones to breast cancer.

Friend: Colin Burgin-Plews’ late friend Marilyn who passed away from terminal breast cancer/permission from Colin Burgin-Plews to use.

“Marilyn lost her battle the same day I hit £10,000 [for Breast Cancer Now]. It gutted me totally.

“Marilyn was so supportive. We messaged a lot and became friends. She used to tell me all the pain she was going through and the tears but she was so strong.

“It makes you feel helpless watching them struggle through pain.

“It truly broke my heart the day she died.

If I could talk one more time to Marilyn, I’d say ‘thank you so much for being my inspiration to keep me fundraising,'” he added.

To carry on Marilyn’s legacy Colin carries a ribbon with her name on every dress – but this year a rose has been added, with a message from Marilyn’s son.


For you: A rose from Marilyn’s son/photo by Colin Burgin-Plews.

The Great North Run is Colin’s favourite race, namely his hometown run. He decided to do it this year as he believes it is the run he is best known for.

Unfortunately, training has been on the back burner for Mr Burgin-Plews.

He said: “I tore my groin muscle a few weeks ago so [I’ve] rested since.”

Despite the injury, he is looking forward to the event.

He added: “I’m looking forward to the run. It’s an unbeatable atmosphere. The crowds keep me going but also the memory of Marilyn. My wife and son will be at the end. If you ever get the chance to make a difference in others lives, do it!”

To donate to Colin’s cause visit his Just Giving page.


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