A TEAM of fundraisers from Muirkirk took part in a gruelling endurance test to raise almost £9,000 for a soldiers’ charity.

Calling themselves the Kirky Kokonuts, the ten-strong group tackled the Cateran Yomp — named after a military term for a long-distance march.

They gathered at the foothills of the Cairngorms in Perthshire to negotiate 54 miles of countryside and rough terrain in a 24-hour challenge.

The Kirky Kokonuts are Neil Dow, Pat Crossan, Billy McLatchie, Craig Burns, Doug Burns, John Dempster, Shug Fyfe, Jim Lennox, John Frame and David Brown.

Neil said: “Seven of the 10 Kirky Kokonuts completed the full 54 miles of the Yomp with times varying from 17hr 41min to 22hr 34min.

“They all won gold medals while the other three struck silver for doing more than 36 miles of the course.

“This was the toughest challenge we have ever done and was well worth the training and endurance.

“The Yomp itself is an event, very well run by the army, in aid of ABF: The Soldiers Charity.”

Teams came from all over the world to take part with each participant pledging to raise a minimum of £400 each which provided another momentous achievement for Neil and his colleagues.

He added: “It was announced on the morning of the Yomp at the starting line that Kirky Kokonuts were the second highest fund raising team , out of more than 1,000 entrants in the full event.

“Our funds are currently sitting at £8559 so a big thank you too all who sponsored us to make this amount possible and for a great cause.

“We are proud of earning these medals taking in the toughness of the event. Also a big thanks too our support team ,Laura Dempster,wee Jack and Billy Beck.”

Setting off from Blairgowrie, 1,019 heroes marched towards Glenshee with service personnel joining the ranks of civilians.

Now in its eighth year, the Cateran Yomp, has raised more than £3m for ABF, the national charity of the British Army which also supports their families.

This year’s marchers were joined by hero climber Les Binns, who was recognised for his bravery in 2016 after he abandoned his Mount Everest climb just 500m from the summit to rescue a fellow mountaineer who was sliding to her death.