On Friday night in Yokohama as part of the opening ceremony of its World Relays, the IAAF announced the Stawell Gift as one of eleven new recipients of the World Athletics Heritage Plaque.
It mattered not that for the vast majority of its 141 year history to date, the Gift operated outside the formal bounds of global athletics.
Nor that when athletics went open in Australia from 1985, the IAAF hierarchy at that time remained nervous about events that openly offered prizemoney - and worse still bookmaking.
Now that the rest of the world has caught up at least in the prizemoney aspect - it was perhaps an easy choice to add such an iconic event to the prestigious list.
The Heritage Plaque concept is all about location-based recognition highlighting, celebrating and linking together iconic and historic athletics careers, cities, competitions, culture, landmarks, performances and venues that have shaped the sport in all of its forms around the world.
Stawell was in grand company on Friday evening. The Penn Relays in the USA is a legendary event dating back to 1895 whilst the Hakone Ekiden first run in 1920 began a cultural tradition in Japan that has become a hallmark of the sport.
The diversity of the concept is demonstrated through the inclusion the landmark locations of Bekoji in Ethiopia - the Town of Runners and Iten in Kenya - the Home of Champions.
Australia can be proud that amongst the nine events recognised in the competition category its beloved Stawell Gift was easily the oldest and most enduring.
It's opportune perhaps because Stawell is at a crossroads. This year only a last minute one-off state government rescue plan provided the significant cash required for the Gift meeting to be conducted in the style to which it had become accustomed. But that lifeline was only granted on the basis that significant structural and organisation change is implemented. Stawell must again become largely self-sufficient.
As the very top end of Australian professional sport attracts even more dollars and companies look to new ways in which to relate to community and customers, smaller events like Stawell get squeezed - no matter how much a part of that rich tapestry of Australian sporting history they may be.
As Stawell has learned, nothing can be taken for granted. The 2020 edition will be a line in the sand.
But as the IAAF has rightly recognised that the event is unique. This is a powerful message that action taken now to preserve it long-term is completely justified - not just as a national treasure but because of its global significance and place in world athletics history.
The IAAF will not formally install the actual plaques to be permanently and publicly displayed at a location closely associated with each recipient until next year.
It has first conducted a world-wide search for a design - with the winning version recently unveiled.
There is only one other Australian inductee to date. The Sydney Sports Ground of the 1950s provided the competition nursery for the country's love affair with its Golden Girls of sprinting and in particular the grand battles between Betty Cuthbert and Marlene Mathews.
The plaques program displays the IAAF's respect for history. But it is also a constant innovator - no better exemplified than through this weekend's fourth edition of the World Relays.
The first three instalments were all played out in The Bahamas but now the constantly evolving event has moved to Japan, a year out from the return of the Olympic Games to Tokyo.
The meet includes the standard relay fare of 4x100 and 4x400 events for men and women but also the mixed version of the latter that will make its world championship debut in Doha later this year before its addition to the Olympic program in 2020.
A race that just a short while back was an experimental novelty is suddenly a full medal event.
Who knows what that might mean for the mixed shuttle hurdles and 2x2x400 relays that will be on show for the first time here overnight?