Manhattan photographer Erin Wells gets to be well-known for more than her pictures.

She’s run the Boston Marathon.

And not once but five times. In fact, she finished her fifth – and final – Boston Marathon on Oct. 11.

It was a special race for Wells, who is closing out this part of her personal track career. And it was a historical first: The 125th Annual Boston Marathon was the first time ever that the race has been run in the fall, another concession to COVID precautions, which cancelled the 2020 race.

“It was my fifth one and it was awesome,” Wells told the Belgrade News. Because of ongoing COVID precautions, Wells was running in a limited field of just 18,000 runners, down from the usual average of about 30,000. “I was so excited to be there.”

“It was my fifth and my favorite. In October, when it’s usually in April. I was honored just to get in. The weather was amazing. Gorgeous fall; weather in the 70s. In April you never know what the weather will be on the East Coast.

But it was perfect weather.”

Next year, the race goes back to its third-Monday-in-April schedule.

Because of the 2020 cancellation, there was a 910-day gap between races and “They did things different. People were just excited to be there,” Wells said.

The men’s winner was Benson Kiproto of Kenya, who finished in 2:04:51; the women’s winner, Diana Kipyogei of Kenya, finished in 2:24:45.

Some 87 countries were represented in this Boston Marathon, along with runners from all 50 states.

Wells said she came in “just under four hours. My slowest time ever. I was just trying to enjoy it because I knew it was my last.”

So why stop running marathons?

“Because of my chiropractor,” Wells said. “He told me ‘you’re killing yourself, the pressure on your body and your mind. Just do this for me,’ and he suggested I do the (Bridger) Ridge Run.

“I had always told myself I would never do that.”


Wells did the Ridge Run, finishing in 5½ hours, a respectable first effort. And, “My chiropractor doesn’t see me as often,” Wells admitted.

This local August run is 19 miles of brutal climbing and descending along the Bozeman section of the Bridgers.

This marathoner has a new love, “being in the mountains, and trail running. I applied a lot of time to training. My husband came with me, and it’s something we can do together.”

She plans to do the Ridge Run again and has already done the Rut Run to Big Sky’s Lone Peak. “Bozeman puts on a lot of trail runs, and there are even ultra-marathons in the mountains,” Wells continued.

As for the Boston Marathon, “I really enjoyed it. You never take for granted that you can be a part of it.”

Wells ran five Boston Marathons in a row, “and it was amazing,” she concluded. “I requalified every year. The excitement of the Boston Marathon. The whole city comes out; the whole town shuts down. People tell you ‘the people get you to the finish line.’ They do.

“I worked hard for all five of those. And I rode that marathon high for a very long time. I’m ready to move on to trail running.”

One big difference between the Boston Marathon and trail running in the Bozeman area?

“I always carry bear spray,” she laughed.