The Alanya Ultra Trail is only for serious runners. The Turkish route is 76 km and takes in a massive 4100 metres in height gain. Runners follow historical caravan routes with banana farms and Alanya castle among the breathtaking scenery.
Vegan runner Itir Atadiyen was the sole representative of her Vegan Runners club taking on the challenge.
It was a tough race as expected. The Turkish runner is a veteran of dozens of long distance mountain runs and faced an international field of quality runners.
As the race went on she improved her placing and eventually completed in 13:39:51. This gave her second place among all women and she was the first over 40 woman.
The finish left her emotional and she recalls “the happiness of crossing the finish line… I cried right after that”.
The category win was not even in her consideration when she was on the start line hours before.
“It’s great to show the photo of the general classification award ceremony, which I hadn’t even dreamed of when I started the race” she says.
Itir has been vegan since 2018.
“It is a lifestyle for me not only a diet. I love animals and care about them.”
During the run she ate a few energy gels, but mostly whole foods: bananas, oranges, bread, snack bars and some nuts.
Itir found she continued to improve her running and now has over 20 category race wins.
“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.”