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Cristin Mullen Remembered With A Run

 On Saturday, July 17, Rockaway honored athlete, teacher, lifeguard, friend, and a true Rockaway girl, Cristin Mullen, with an event that radiated everything she loved.

 In the morning, participants of the Cristin Mullen Run gathered in the St. Rose of Lima schoolyard for last-minute registration and number pickup. Then they made their way to the boardwalk on Beach 84th Street, where bagpipes awaited participants ready to start the day. The 5k race was the first to start. Around 180 people lined the boardwalk on the beautiful sunny day, with excited energy that embodied Cristin’s positivity. The one mile walk and kiddie runs followed with lots of children joining their families for the event, which Cristin, a District 75 teacher, would have loved.

At around 11 a.m., runners gathered back at the St. Rose of Lima schoolyard for an afterparty which included a DJ, a barbecue provided by the Knights of Columbus, a 50/50, and raffles for some great prizes secured by Cristin’s mom, Noreen Mullen. Fun was had by all, and the weather was perfect for a celebration with friends and family honoring Cristin’s beautiful soul.

Locals and people from outside of Rockaway alike came out to show support, remember Cristin and enjoy the day. Two runners, Evette and Anna, came from Manhattan to run by the beach and be part of a more local race. Close friends of Cristin and runners from out of town came together to honor her legacy with one of her favorite things to do. Cristin frequently ran the same boardwalk in her spare time, at Rockapulco Run events, and competitively through St. Francis de Sales CYO, Bishop Kearney High School and then St. Francis College.

 On December 17, 2020, Cristin Mullen died unexpectedly at 35 years old due to complications from epilepsy. Her mother, Noreen Mullen said, “We do this in Cristin’s memory, specifically her perseverance, during trial and adversity. Through it all, she always smiled, was always running, and never gave up. She always wanted to work, and was a tenured District 75 teacher, and never collected disability.” Cristin’s strength through her 13-year battle with epilepsy was nothing short of inspirational. As was the support system around her. John Daly admired Noreen’s dedication to her daughter throughout Cristin’s life and struggles with her diagnosis. “Noreen was totally committed to helping her get well through every step,” Daly said.

Speaking more about her late daughter, Noreen Mullen said, “She loved her Irish heritage, and she loved her country.” Cristin also loved her community and Rockaway loved her back, so it was no surprise to see locals come out strong for Saturday’s event. In turn, the Cristin Mullen Run gave back to the community. All the proceeds from the event will go towards St. Rose of Lima School, a parish that is near and dear to the hearts of the Mullen family. As a teacher who loved children, supporting the students of St. Rose is a fitting tribute to carry on Cristin’s legacy.

Saturday was a lovely day honoring a beautiful soul, with Cristin’s community honoring her with something she loved. Her love for the community was reciprocated by all at the event, who were there to support and honor her legacy.

 By Isabella Guerriero

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