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

Kelowna Secondary School. (SD23 photo)
Second case of COVID-19 confirmed at Kelowna Secondary School

Interior Health has confirmed the new case is unrelated to the one announced Sunday

Three vehicle crash on Highway 33. Twila Amato, Black Press Media.
UPDATE: Three-vehicle crash involving bus on Highway 33

Highway 33 is slow going in both directions

More than 6,000 people attended the popular Downtown Vernon Association summer concert series known as Civic Sounds. (Peter Solymosi)
Vernon organization requests $20K to bring back park-based fun

Downtown Vernon Association seeks funding for 2021 programming

Welcome Inn will offer 20 beds, but site coordinators Jason Siebenga and Tara Tschritter hope to offer up to 40. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Winter shelters spaces opening in Kelowna

The move comes as winter conditions are setting in earlier this year

Comedian Mike Delamont will take the stage at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre for two socially-distanced shows Nov. 14 at 5:40 and 8 p.m. (Contributed)
Comedy returns to Vernon’s stage amid COVID-19

Cabaret-style shows let audience in on the live action once again

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

The Stuart Park ice rink in January 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Popular Kelowna outdoor ice rink will open amid COVID-19 pandemic

City council approved COVID-related changes to the Stuart Park ice rink’s operations

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

Salmon Arm RCMP responded to a seven-vehicle chain reaction collision early Monday morning, Oct. 26. (File photo)
One person injured in seven-vehicle chain-reaction collision in Salmon Arm

Snow packed to ice, speed contributing factors behind collisions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP responded to a single-vehicle collision on Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm early Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm man killed in collision on Highway 1

RCMP say slippery road conditions contributing factor behind collision

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Parents not giving up, after official search for Manning Park hiker suspended again

‘We are determined, but eventually the money is going to run out.’

Most Read