Hamish Carson and Aaron Pulford are likely to battle it out for the New Zealand 10,000-metre men's track title in Auckland this weekend while Lydia O'Donnell will start warm favourite in the women's race.
Carson returns to the track this season keen to add the national 10,000-metre championship to the half marathon and 1500-metre titles he won last year.
Pulford has the fastest time in the field and he will be seeking the senior title to add to the junior 10,000-metre titles he won in 2010 and 2011.
Pulford recorded a time of 29:07.33 in last month's Zatopek meeting in Melbourne.
The two classy runners face a small but strong field in the New Zealand Championships to be run on Sunday evening at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium.
Lydia O'Donnell has every chance of winning the women's title. She is currently in good form having run a 3000-metre time trial last week in 9:30.79.
O'Donnell was third in the 2011 national 10-kilometre road championships in 35:18 and third in the 2012 national 1500-metres.
Kelly Parlane, who was third in the Auckland Marathon in November in 2:54:14, will test herself over 10,000-metres.