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

Penticton Western News Publisher Warren Smith takes a look at the 2020 Best of the South Okanagan supplement appearing in today’s (Wednesday, Oct. 21) paper.
Hot off the Press: The Best of the South Okanagan

Check out Wednesday’s Penticton Western News for winners and favourites

Swimming lessons are returning to the Penticton pool. (Western News file photo)
Swim lessons return to Penticton pool

Registration starts on Thursday

Penticton RCMP have been cleared of any wrongdoing following the July 31, 2020 death of an elderly woman. (Black Press file photo)
Police watchdog finds Penticton RCMP not responsible for woman’s death

The investigation stems from an incident in July

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

File photo
EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP located a hidden compartment in a vehicle, leading to a significant drug seizure, police said in a media release Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP find illicit drugs in hidden vehicle compartment

Police seized 4 kg of methamphetamine from a Jeep involved in a violent hit and run March 24

Charlotte Smith, one of organizers of the second annual North Shuswap witches fundraising paddle prepares to set off on her stand up paddle board. (Sue Stilling photo)
Witches float for a good cause in the North Shuswap

Costumed paddlers turned heads on the north arm of Shuswap Lake while raising money for charity

Most Read