Muktar Edris and Imane Merga (Foto: BOclassic/Mosna)

Ethiopian Imane Merga and Kenyan Gladys Cherono will start as favourites at the 39th edition of the International New Year's Eve Run - BOClassics in Bozen/Bolzano, Italy.

Following the example of Sao Paolo, in 1975 the Runners' Association of Bozen/Bolzano launched a New Year's Eve Run in Bozen/Bolzano.

Today, the BOclassic is considered the best cast New Year's Eve Run in the World. 15,000 spectators will bring great tension on the Walther Square. The national broadcasting company, Rai Sport, will broadcast the run live on the last day of the year.

Athletic manager Gianni Demadonna said his aim is to again bring top class runners to Bozen/Bolzano. "I even contacted running legend [link id="76" tax="post_tag" text="Haile Gebrselassie"], but his starting salary was eventually too high," says Demadonna.

Instead, the OC could commit a runner against whom Gebrselassie would never have won: Imane Merga. The 25-year-old Ethiopian is title holder in Bozen/Bolzano.

In 2010 he defeated double olympic champion Mo Farah in the finish. Merga has also already been world champion. Merga's biggest challenger will be his compatriot Muktar Edris. The Junior World Champion over 5000m finished second in 2012.

In the women's run, Kenyan Gladys Cherono is the first favourite. A former world silver medallist over 10,000m, she was also first runner to win the Double over 5000 and 10,000m at the African Championship.

The track consists of a 1,25km-long circuit through Bozen/Bolzanos historical alleys. The women have to pass four, and the men eight rounds.

Race Programme: December 31, 2013

  • 1.00 p.m: BOclassic Ladurner Amateur's run
  • 1.50 p.m: 31th Raiffeisen youth cup
  • 2.30 p.m: BOclassic Handbike
  • 3.00 p.m: BOclassic Elite women
  • 3.30 p.m: BOclassic Elite men