Competitors at Tuesday night's Balance Accountants Cooks Classic can now well and truly have their eye on the prize.
A prize pool of over $5000 will be offered at Cooks Gardens that night, making the classic the second richest athletics meeting in New Zealand.
Organiser Alec McNab said the pool was only just under the cash being offered at the Christchurch International Track Meeting (ITM) next month.
"The pool has come about by the generosity of sponsors and from the Athletics Wanganui 100 Club of supporters.
"This is a major step in establishing the Cooks Classic as the major domestic athletics meeting."
Added interest includes the prizes for the shot put and javelin being done on a handicap basis.
"This allows men and women to compete using their own implements and a further handicap based on their season's personal best," said McNab.
The mile race, which will be headlined by Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis, has the added late entry of recent English Schools 800m champion Sam Petty.
Overall entries have reached 165, an encouraging increase on 2012 when the event was held on a weekend and was the 50th anniversary of Peter Snell's world record at Cooks Gardens.
The pre-meeting will include the invitation pole vault, held right alongside the sponsors' function behind the back straight.
This week's Fastest Kid on the Block challenges around Wanganui were also a success, attracting almost 100 children to the four venues.
Thirty of them, aged 6-13, will compete at the Classic in the final Fastest Kid race, being held at 7.55pm.