FAT chicks can run too, according to a North-East woman hoping to shatter misconceptions as she sets out to undertake a gruelling marathon.

Charlie Taylor cuts a striking figure – at 6ft 2ins and a size 20, she is perhaps not the most likely of fitness enthusiasts.

The 27-year-old - whose motto is Fat Chicks Can Run Too - is challenging stereotypes and raising money by preparing to take part in the Great North Run, her second marathon.

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She took up running after deciding to improve her health and fitness and has since shed around four stone.

She said: “I’m not doing it to lose weight and conform, it’s for the health benefits. I just got to a point where I thought if I don’t behave, I’ll end up damaging myself.

“People judged me and said I’d never be able to run, being the size I am but I’m proof it’s possible to be fat and fit.

“I used to walk with my head down and try to hide, I was scared of being tall and fat but now I am proud to say I’m up here, I’m tall, I’m fat and I’m running and if you don’t like it, tough.”

Miss Taylor will run to raise money for the Cockerton Prize Silver Band, based in Darlington.

She said: “I’ve grown up around the band, my mother was their first female member and they do so much in the community.

“They are always playing at events and in supermarkets and people really enjoy them but rarely know who they are.

“They have been going since the 1800s but they struggle for funding and could do with help to buy new instruments.

“If every business in the town donated £1, that could keep them going for a year.”

For more about Miss Taylor’s mission, visit facebook.com/fatchickscanrun.