Sam ready to climb her GNR mountain

DARING Sam Finn may have already conquered Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Sam Finn in training on Newcastle's quayside

DARING Sam Finn may have already conquered Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Now the adventurous blonde will take part in her biggest challenge to date in her native Tyneside, competing the Great North Run in her bikini – but only if she reaches her fundraising target.

The 28-year-old combines a gruelling one-hour-a-day training session – a run home to Wallsend, North Tyneside – rather than getting the bus.

When she completes the 13.1-mile challenge from Newcastle to South Shields next Sunday, she will be raising money for the Newcastle-based Madventurer Foundation, which aids African villages through charity work.

“This is the first time I have done it, I’ve wanted to do it all my life but have never got round to it,” she said.

“I decided that I was going to apply when I was standing on the top of the summit because I have been working out in Africa the last two years and have missed home.

“I see it as a great symbol of North-East passion and endeavour, something that Geordies are famous for.”

Miss Finn, who works as a volunteer manager in Tanzania and Kenya with travel company Madventurer, climbed the 19,340ft peak earlier this year after becoming mesmerised by the dawn view every morning.

“When I decided to do it, I was a bit nervous. People can die if they get altitude sickness, so you do have to be very careful,” she said.

“When I was climbing, I could see all the lights from the town twinkling, and the stars. It was just so beautiful.

“I didn’t realise I was at the top until my guide told me and it was covered in snow, I just could not believe what I was seeing, the sun made it look like the sky was on fire, it was just so overwhelming.”

Miss Finn, originally from Allendale, Northumberland, often returns home and runs through the Pennines, notching up 12 miles a time, ensuring plenty of preparation ahead of the half-marathon. “I said I was going to put my money where my mouth is and if I raise £1,000, I will run this in my bikini,” she added.

“I’m not too worried about people looking at me, people will be dressed as all sorts of things, it’s all good fun. Above all, I’m really excited for the day and want to raise awareness for what we are doing out in Africa.”

To sponsor Miss Finn, visit www.justgiving.com/sammygnr

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