Itir Atadiyen is an extremely successful mountain runner and sky runner in her home nation of Turkey.
She is known for running longer distance races of 10 km up to and beyond marathon. Most races have brutal height gains, routinely exceeding 1000 metres. She’s won her category 22 times (as of March 2021) and since the start of 2018 did so in 19 out of 23 starts. These include the Tahtali Run To Sky, which was 27.6 km with over 2660 metres of height gain. Itir was the first woman home, as she was in Sky Erciyes Trail run (24.9 km).
In 2018, Itir turned vegan. “I am totally vegan” she says. “It is a lifestyle for me not only a diet. I love animals and care about them.”
The change came after being vegetarian and considering going vegan. “I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do it while traveling. Then I went vegan it was easy after all!”.
“I mostly eat healthy vegan food like salads, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and of course a lot of carbs because of losing too much calories during sports.”
As well as the brutal sky running races, Itir also competes in multisports events including the Cunda Ultimate mountainbike, swimming and running race. In 2019 she was the national champion in orienteering for her age group. She’s also competed in triathlon successfully.
“I run on trails. I like every kind of outdoor sports like orienteering, mountaineering, triathlon, mountainbiking and open water swimming. I also do yoga.”
And while veganism is not as common as many would like, Itir has been leading the way.
“Some of my friends went vegan too after me some not. It is hard to change habits. But at least they cannot tell anything bad about it….because they see that I am getting better and better.”
As well as more of the running events she has excelled in, the 44 year old (in 2021) has other plans. “I want to run in the Alps, I want to climb to Kilimanjaro mountain and do a bike tour in South America.” Veganism will be a part of these plans.
“I am happy to be a successful vegan athlete to break down prejudice.”