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West Kelowna woman set to run 100km to raise awareness for mental health

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna woman set to run 100km to raise awareness for mental health' West Kelowna woman set to run 100km to raise awareness for mental health
West Kelowna woman set to run 100km to raise awareness for mental health – Oct 7, 2020

This is the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health’s Mental Illness Awareness week.

It’s an annual public education campaign designed to open the eyes of the Canadians to the reality of mental illness.

An Okanagan woman is getting ready do her part to bring more awareness to the importance of mental health locally.

“Roughly a hundred kilometres from Vernon to Penticton,” Melissa Gosse-Sinclair told Global News.

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100 kilometres may not sound like much, but try running it all in one day.

That’s exactly what Gosse-Sinclair is gearing up for.

“To raise awareness for mental health and funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association,” Gosse-Sinclair said.
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The West Kelowna resident is well versed in the loneliness of the the long distance runner.
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“I’ve been running ultras for about the last six years across the world, so Canada, the United States, South America, Madagascar,” Gosse-Sinclair said.
An ultra or ultramarathon is technically anything over the traditional marathon distance of 42km.

Gosse-Sinclair expects her time will be somewhere in the sub 20 hour range, but for her, it’s not about time at all.

It’s about something more personal.

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“I lost a friend to suicide that I had no idea that was struggling,” Gosse-Sinclair said.

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The veteran ultramarathoner also admits to struggling with her own mental health recently.

“I have my own breaking points and definitely this year is one of those harder years for me,” Gosse-Sinclair explained.

Gosse-Sinclair says it’s those personal emotions that will see her through the challenge of this 100km ultramarathon.

“I’ve always been taught, you know, don’t just say ‘hey there is an issue here, we need to fix it’, go out and do something yourself,”

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The ‘100km for Mental Health’ run’s original goal was to raise $1500 through a GoFundMe page but Gosse-Sinclair has already garnered that amount.

“We will be stretching to $3000 now,” Gosse-Sinclair said.

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The ‘100km for Mental Health’ run will start in Vernon at 4 a.m. on Friday, November 28, along the Okanagan rail trail and will eventually link up with the KVR rail trail before finishing in Penticton.

If you would like to support the run, or even run along with Gosse-Sinclair, you can contact her through her GoFundMe page.

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