A GROUP of Muirkirk man are taking on 54 miles of rugged terrain in a 24-hour challenge.

They will be heading for the foothills of the Cairngorms on June 9 and 10 to take part in the Cateran Yomp — a military term for a long-distance march.

Calling themselves the Kirky Kokonuts, the team had a final planning meeting at The Coach House in Muirkirk, pictured.

Gearing up for the adventure are Neil Dow, Pat Crossan, Billy McLatchie, Craig Burns, Doug Burns, John Dempster, Jim Lennox, Shug Fyfe, John Frame and David Brown.

Kirky Kokonuts’ exploits are in aid of ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, which supports the armed forces, veterans and their families, in times of need.

Neil said: “We had to raise a minimum of £400 each in order to take part, which is a total of £4,000, but at this stage we have already reached almost £5,000.

“There are three courses — bronze: 22 miles, silver: 36 miles and gold: 54 miles — and you register which one you are going for.

“1,150 people entered last year, with 499 completing the 54 miles. It’s going to be tough but we are doing this to raise vital funds.”

ABF supports a wide range of specialist charities that help soldiers, both at home and around the world, while working with veterans of every conflict.

The charity was established in 1944, having been re-launched under its current format in 2010, with the Yomp a major fundraiser.

Stuart Aitken, who took part last year, said: “The event is 54 miles of sheer delight, but it likes to play with every emotion known to mankind.

“This makes it one of the toughest challenges out there. A fantastic event that one year would not be the same without.”