Reigning Prince of Tainui Hadley McDougall is "all fired up" to defend his crown at this weekend's Peak Trail Blazer.
The 9-year-old Havelock North primary student said he is definitely fitter and faster this year and even though the race is a bit longer, he is confident of improving on last year's time of 16 minutes and 12 seconds. .
Hadley's 7-year-old brother is also competing.
"I can't lose to my little brother. I'll be sure to have a good sleep, a big breakfast and bring a good attitude."
The young sportsman is also a keen boxer, footballer and rugby league player.
A prize purse of $500 will be up for grabs for the fastest male and female on the 12.8km Te Mata Peak trail, while two new prizes have been added for Prince and Princess of the 3.5km Tainui Trail.
The under-11 winners would each receive $150 ASB Bank accounts.
The prospect of winning money has provided Hadley further motivation.
"If I win I will give $20 to second place and $10 to third," Hadley said.
Race director Jo Throp said she was confident this year's event would attract more than the 600 runners that took part in 2014.
"We get a lot of last minute entries so, weather permitting, we should have a great turnout."
A slight change has been made to this year's course as a safety precaution.
Because of recent high winds felling trees in the main gully of Havelock North's Tainui Reserve, they will be staying out of that small section of the course.
"We've walked through with a couple of Hastings District Council staff, and all agree we'd rather not run that part of the course.
"It's a safety thing - and we always take that seriously," Ms Throp said.
This year's race will see a new award up for grabs called "Lucky Legs".
It times the fastest times up and down the course.
"It should be an interesting competition between the local runners as the overall winner might not necessarily be the quickest on either leg.
"To do this, we have had to put a timing mat up on the peak to record splits."
Ms Throp said the Peak Trail Blazer offers something for everyone.
"Fit, unfit, fast, slow, team or individual, we cater for all.
"Runners love that it is a proper race where they are given a number and a time while running in a fantastic atmosphere.
"The fact that it doubles as a fundraiser is just the icing on the cake."
The event has donated more than $20,000 back to the community over the past five years.
This year's proceeds will be split between Havelock North Primary, Te Mata Park and the Heretaunga Women's Centre.
Information about the November 15 event can be found on firstname.lastname@example.org