Thousands of Kiwis are set to hit the pavement to raise funds to regenerate tracks destroyed in the Port Hills fires.
The ASB Christchurch Marathon will get under way on June 4 and this year, for every kilometre run or walked by the more than 6000 participants, ASB will donate 25 cents to help buy trees to help restore damaged walking tracks in the hills.
The Summit Road Society was the hardest hit landowner by February's devastating fires, which burnt 83ha of Ohinetahi Reserve and left 1.3km of fencing needing to be replaced.
Society president Bill Woods said the group aimed to plant 5000 trees over the 2017 winter, which will cost around $20,000.
"Our main interest is in preserving the Port Hills, it's a wonderful area for Cantabrians and visitors alike to walk and run and we will work hard to restore the blackened areas to a desirable state.
"While the regeneration of the damaged areas will be largely long-term, there are certain activities we can do to encourage the process in the short-term."
Woods said bringing the fire-ravaged hills back to life will require strategic planting in suitable areas, weed control and increased pest trapping to encourage natural regeneration.
More than 1500 trees will be planted on July 1, signalling the first phase of the reserve's regeneration.
Christchurch's Student Volunteer Army and members from the local ASB will help Summit Road Society volunteers clear and prepare the lower boundary of the reserve and O'Farrell's track, before the planting takes place.
"We're thankful to ASB and the Christchurch community for seeing our need and supporting the necessary regeneration process," said Woods.
ASB general manager of branch banking Grant Gilbert said ASB was pleased that marathon participants would be involved in the preservation of the reserve, through the Run Back the Tracks initiative.
"It's a great way for us to be involved in Christchurch's premier running event as we mark our first year sponsoring the already-popular event."