Cully’s Run is an annual 5K Trail Event organized by the DWRC in memory of our teammate Katy Cullinan ’08. Participants race, run, or walk to raise awareness and funds for Headrest.  In it’s first four years, Cully’s Run had over six hundred participants and raised around $23,000.00 for the National Eating Disorders Association and Headrest.  The Trail Event takes place in early May, and starts and ends at the beautiful Corey Ford Ruby Clubhouse (directions here), following a scenic route around Storrs Pond.  The event is a wonderful collaboration between the DWRC and the Hanover Improvement Society, which operates the campground and other public recreational facilities at Storrs Pond. 

During the post-event ceremonies, The CULLY MEMORIAL AWARD is given to the DWRC player who has brought to the playing field and to her teammates the qualities of character we so dearly loved in Katy Cullinan: Indomitable SpiritPassionate Support, and Irreverent Humor

Award Recipients include:  Michelle Dunn ’09, Leah Weisman ‘10, Grace Dowd '11, Theresa Cassano '12, and Emma Vance '13.

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The DWRC lost one of its brightest lights late this summer, when Katy “Cully” Cullinan ’08 took her own life. Cully was a beautiful, caring girl with a sharp wit and impeccable comic timing, a gifted and passionate athlete, and an inquisitive and engaging student. Most incredibly, she had a social grace which opened the hearts of those around her, and an integrity of soul which left a permanent impression.

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For the last 8 of her 22 years, Katherine struggled with an eating disorder; at first very privately and then with the support of her family. Despite the physical and mental toll which each bout of the disease took on her, she fought back repeatedly with a quiet bravery and tenacity which inspired her parents and sister. In 2007 she participated on a Dartmouth Medical School panel on eating disorders, sharing with a large audience intimate and painful insights into the life of an eating-disordered person. She afterward said it was her duty to help others understand the disease…(from funeral program notes on Katy’s life).

Many current and recently graduated DWRC members attended the funeral mass in Wellesley, MA, and were truly inspired by Mr. Cullinan’s brave words about his younger daughter:

…by objective measures, Katy was winning her fight. Too slowly to suit her, of course, because everything had to be “now” with Katy, but winning nonetheless. She was just too impatient with herself, too hard on herself. So if you would honor her memory, then remember her example of tenacity and progress, forgive her this act of impatience with herself, and never, never be afraid to reach out to those who love you…

The DWRC grew much closer as a team as we struggled to process Cully’s death. We bonded in a way that would have taken more years than we have together. Mr. Cullinan’s words, along with memories of Cully, still resonate in our team interactions. This experience continues to be a part of the fabric of our team culture – it has fundamentally changed us in a positive way. I know that Katy would be heartened that memories of her life have caused us to care more deeply about each other, and to make more effort to connect with one another.

Katy would have loved our team this year. They are, truly, “warrior princesses” – beautiful girls with a fierce competitiveness and love of life. They are quick to laugh and joke, but they are fun to watch because they are such great runners and great fighters. They are on the “light” side for rugby players, so they sometimes get flung around, but they always get up ready to fight harder. This is, truly, Katy’s kind of team, and I think of her sometimes while I am watching our matches – how she would fearlessly throw her little body in front of much larger opponents in order to stop them from scoring tries. I am also reminded of her as a young first-year student – with obvious potential and athletic ability, but more than anything with a whole lot of moxie and sass.

Katy, you are missed and deeply mourned by all of us. But so much of your spirit has been present in this fall’s team that I can’t tell you how many times I expected to see you walk up from the locker room and onto Battle Field for practice – with those pink cleats, bare legs sticking out of baggy shorts, hands in the pockets of your fur-trimmed parka and eyes sparkling as you crack a perfect joke and the other girls around you explode with laughter. You will never be forgotten, and your spirit will always be cherished by the DWRC.

      - Coach Deb

 

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