A MAN has completed a mammoth challenge by climbing the ten biggest hills in Fife in under 24 hours.

Ross Cunningham took on the challenge on Saturday, October 11, in a bid to raise money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

In an astounding time of just 18 hours, Ross scaled Benarty Hill, Saline Hill, Knock Hill, Largo Law, Norman's Law, Lumbennie Hill, Cairnie Hill, Mount Hill, West Lomond Hill and East Lomond Hill.

With a target of £500 at the outset of feat, Ross not only finished the hills well under time, but also raised more than quadruple his target £2,000 already pledged at the time of writing.

Still feeling the aches and pains from the weekend, Ross said it has all been worth it.

The Cowdenbeath fan, told the Times: “It went to plan in the sense that I completed it. I had done all of the hills before on their own, so they were fine. I started at 7am and thought it could be 7am the next day before I finish, but I ended up finishing at about 1am.

“I did the Edinburgh Kiltwalk last year which is 24 miles and thought I’d never do a distance like that before because my feet and legs were so sore. They were really aching [this time] but by the time I got to East Lomond I knew I would finish it.”

While Ross, who lives in Glenrothes, did eight of the hills on his own, his dad and dog, Dex, joined him to go up the two biggest in Fife while pitch black.

He continued: “I wanted to include my dog in it but he’s a Westie so couldn’t do them well. Thankfully, my dad came and joined me for the two biggest ones. It was great to have that moral support.

“I wouldn’t do them in the dark again, it’s just walking towards a huge silhouette, but I really enjoyed it.”

Ross took part in the challenge as part of the nation-wide SAMH Virtual Stomp which took place in the run up to World Mental Health Day, and he says it’s comforting to know that the money raised will go towards helping people.

He said: “Mental health has never been more important than it is now with what we’re all going through.

“Just over three years ago I took up hiking Scotland's mountains when going through a period of depression.

“I couldn't watch a film, I couldn't read a book, I found it hard to concentrate at work. But hiking up a mountain gave me a focus, something I could use to quieten the mind for a while to give me a chance to refocus and recharge mentally.

“Since then, I've become more aware of people across Scotland who are opening up about their mental health.

“Charities like SAMH, Scotland's mental health charity, do so much to keep mental health in the public eye and to support people through their services.

“The SAMH website and social media channels are also a great way to inform people about steps they can take to improve their mental health and how to support other people who are struggling.”