Kelowna woman to run from Vernon to Penticton for mental health awareness

Melissa Gosse’s 100-kilometre ultramarathon will raise funds for Canadian Mental Health Association

A Kelowna resident is running an ultramarathon this fall to raise awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing.

Melissa Gosse said 2020 has been quite a trying year. It started off when the pandemic changed her plans to participate in ultramarathon races, which would’ve been her seventh year doing it.

“With COVID-19 hitting, a lot of my races were cancelled or deferred… and that in itself is definitely hard when that’s something you look forward to so much and you get so much from that sport,” she said.

“Of course, the unpredictability of the times right now is also tiring and hard. On top of that, I was also part of a tragic car accident a few months ago and I lost a friend to suicide this year as well. It’s been a lot.”

Mental health affects so many areas of people’s lives and deserves more attention, which is why she decided to run 100 kilometres from Vernon to Penticton to raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

The run doesn’t have a specific date yet, but Gosse has said she’s aiming for either the last weekend in October or the first one in November.

She said she will have some friends and family who will help her on the day of the run, with some running with her and others waiting at checkpoints to cheer her on. She’s also received messages from the community offering to run the ultramarathon with her.

In all, she said she’s grateful and excited about the run. Currently, she’s been able to raise $1,070 so far of her $1,500 goal.

“The stigma that it’s embarrassing to talk about (mental health) has to go away because sometimes, it does end in tragedy. A lot of this is preventable.”

“For us to understand more about mental health issues, we need more people to open up about it. And I get it, it’s hard and requires vulnerability and courage, but the more people do it the more courageous we’ll feel. There is power in numbers,” she said.

Gosse said she hasn’t done a 100-kilometre course in a while, so her campaign for CMHA is also her way of challenging herself.

“This is new territory for me, so the support from everyone has been an amazing fuel for me. The support has been giving me inspiration and this has been one of the best things I’ve gotten to train for in my ultramarathon career.”

READ: Kelowna Liberal MLAs respond to ‘opportunistic’ snap election call

READ: Kelowna-Mission Liberal candidate announced


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

Carmi Elementary students voted through CIVIX Students Vote. (Lesley Evans photo)
Penticton students have their say in B.C. election

Twelve schools, including Carmi Elementary participated in Student Vote

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Efforts to replace the aging Rutland Middle School have been put off by another year by the ministry of education. (File photo)
Education ministry won’t replace Central Okanagan school anytime soon

New Westside Secondary top priority for ministry of education

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is planning to implement transit service in the West Bench area in September, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Regional district to bring transit service to West Bench in 2021

Residents of area near Penticton will be consulted before plans are finalized

Most Read