Kiwi middle distance runner Nick Willis is aiming to drag a number of his rivals with him as he attempts to run a sub-four minute mile at Wanganui's Cooks Gardens tonight.

Willis, the Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist, is the main attraction at the Cooks Classic and will headline a 13-strong field for the mile race.

The 32-year-old Willis says he has a set plan on how to attack the challenge.

"Like I did two years ago I'm going to go right behind the pace-maker and, as the pace-maker pulls out, I'm going to keep pushing that third lap as hard as I can," Willis says.

"There are a handful of us that should be able to break four minutes and that is a really exciting prospect if five or six guys go under four minutes."

Willis will complete his New Zealand summer programme with the Capital Classic in Wellington on Friday night.