TEMPLE — Paul Box, 34, and Matt Curtis, 33, both of Waxahachie, train together for marathons.
On Sunday, the duo were running together at a fast pace in the Killeen-to-Temple Army Marathon III. They were keeping up with Matt Buchhorn, 28, of Sherman, the eventual winner.
“Well, we kept up with (Buchhorn) for awhile,” Box said. “But once he decided to go, he was gone.”
By the 18th mile, Box and Curtis, still running together, figured one would finish second, the other third.
“After the 18th mile, I got a little bit ahead of Paul,” Curtis said. “And it stayed that way for awhile. By then, we both knew first place just wasn’t an option. He (Buchhorn) was way past us. He was flying.
“But in these races, Paul and I have a tradition of separating then catching back up to each other. Midway through the 23rd mile, Paul bumped me on the shoulder — that’s a tradition we have when one of us passes the other. And as he passed me, I told him ‘I’m spent, go for it, take second.’ And that’s what he did.”
Box’s runner-up time was 2 hours, 59 minutes and 57 seconds. Curtis finished third at 3:01:19.
“This was the best I’ve ever finished in a marathon,” Box said. “So I’m happy with that. Most importantly, I ran today in memory of my late grandfather Harold Brown who fought in Patton’s Third Army. That gives you some motivation.”
Curtis also had some special inspiration.
“This is my second year in a row running here,” Curtis said. “I run in honor of my grandfather Carl Beck. He is still alive. He’s a World War II veteran. He fought on Utah Beach all the way to Germany.
“You can bet Paul and I will be back again next year for this.”