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

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

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

Zuzana Riha’s last exhibition at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre was in October 2018. She has another coming up in November 2020. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke gallery exhibition opening coming Nov. 5

The November show will feature Zuzana Riha in the main gallery

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

A map of the proposed location for the temporary workforce camp in Johnson Heights that is subject to a Temporary Use Permit from the city. (City of Revelstoke)
Resort asks for support on proposed temporary workforce housing

Peter Nielsen says application for permanent staff accommodation coming forward next week

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

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

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read