(In photo: The Belle’s cousin; Anita Mallory, The Belle and neighbor Charlotte near the starting line)

By Sheilah Belle

Richmond, VA — The Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k is one of Richmond’s biggest events of the year anyway you look at it, sporting or social, however Saturday’s 10k seemed even more significant and timely as the community come together in the middle of Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) run to the Final Four.  This was truly significant as this year’s VCU basketball team, marked the school’s first time participating in the final four.

With the VCU student body behind them, as well as the city and the Mayor, Dwight Jones, the unity throughout the city was contagious and energizing.

Additionally with Franklin Street having the look of a river of Black and Gold with waves of runners and walkers dressed in the schools colors as they streamed towards the finish line, it was truly one of Richmond’s biggest party’s as it hosted an all day celebration for Ram Nation USA in the heart of downtown Richmond.

For The Belle, there were also a few other emotions involved for the day as, Saturday, April 2nd, also marked the birthday of her mother, Barbara S. Belle, who passed in 1977.  The Belle said, “I’m dedicating today’s race to my mom and I’m wearing my Alaskan Sweat Shirt to remember my friends in Fairbanks and the Gold color is for VCU.  I guess you could say I was trying to cover all of my bases.”  Joining The Belle at the starting line was her cousin Anita L. Mallory and their neighbor Charlotte, who they also trained with during the 10k weekend training courses.

Just about everybody from some community throughout the city participated in the run including members of Radio One to the YMCA!

It was a great day and one that will long be remembered for everyone who participated.

Courtesy of

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