EIGHT heats will be run in the Bendigo Bank Maryborough Gift 120m on New Year's Day at Princes Park.
The Highland Gathering has drawn athletes from a wide range of ages and experience to contest the sprints and distance runs.
The Gift winner of 2013, Ballarat's Joel Bee will race off 1m in the fourth heat on Wednesday.
After starting the year by racing to victory in 12.532 seconds off 2.75m, Bee faces a daunting campaign.
Flora Hill's Jack Dooley will start off the 9.75m mark in heat six.
The first of the Gift heats will be at 1.05pm. Heat eight is at 1.27pm.
Heat winners and the next eight fastest qualify for the two semi-finals at 2pm.
A prize pool of more than $14,500 is up for grabs in the Bendigo Bank Maryborough Gift.
New Year's Day racing starts at 10am when the open 70m heats are contested.
An action-packed program includes the Women's Necklace 120m, Novice 120m, Veterans 120m, Open 200m, Veterans 300m, Open 400m, Women's 400m, Novice 400m, Open 800m, Open 1600m, and Veterans 1600m.
Fans will also witness the Heavy Games, Highland Dancing, and recitals by various highland pipe bands and brass bands.
Admission is $14 adults, $7 aged pensioner, $28 family two adults and children under-16, $5 children 12-16 years.