By Vicki Newman
BBC Tyne contributor
Sue has lost four stone while training for the Great North Run
A South Tyneside woman has lost an impressive four stone (25.4kg) in preparation for the Great North Run.
Sue Lees, 41, from Hebburn, has been training since January for the 13.1-mile race from Newcastle to South Shields.
Sue said she had lost the weight through healthy eating and plenty of exercise, including visits to the gym and cycling. She also quit smoking to maintain her healthy lifestyle.
Sue hopes to raise £300 each for the British Red Cross and a local epilepsy support group.
She said: "People always go for the big charities, which already have all the stars running for them, and the little ones get forgotten.
"I wanted to give something back to my community. Local people should run for local charities - especially in the recession.
"Lots of people think that the British Red Cross only works in Africa, but they actually do a lot of work in the local area.
"They help the homeless and even supply wheelchairs for South Tyneside hospital."
Sue's other chosen charity, an epilepsy support group, is special to her after the loss of a family friend through the condition, which causes recurrent seizures.
The support group was set up to help people deal with bereavement caused by the illness.
Sue has put a lot of work into preparing for the Great North Run, taking part in the Bupa 10k in Manchester, where she is originally from, back in May. She completed the course in one hour and 25 minutes.
But she isn't doing the half marathon in an attempt to better her time. She's taking along her camera so she can capture each moment forever.
She said: "I'm really not bothered about the time. I run for the experience and for the good of the charities that I'm running for.
"A lot of worthwhile charities rely on the money that runners raise for them. That's the important thing for me."
Sue plans to do the Great North Run again in 2010 as well as the Bupa 10k in Manchester.
Her ultimate goal is to take part in the New York marathon, in which runners must complete a gruelling 26.2 miles (42.1km) through all five boroughs of the city.
See more information, features and photos about the Great North Run by using the links above.