Framingham resident, Justin Lutz, sailed through the finish line at the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge Championship in Chicago.
Finishing 3.5 miles in 17 minutes and 17 seconds, he placed eighth among all competitors from around the world.
He was the first American finisher, falling short to five runners from South Africa and two from Australia.
“It really takes a lot of persistence,” Lutz said. “It’s just a really good feeling to know your body and what it can do.”
Lutz, who works at Raytheon, races with a team made up of Raytheon employees, who often train together.
Lutz trains in many different ways and places, though “I prefer running on the trails,” he said. Each week, Lutz hits the ground running for about 100 miles, splitting his distance between Framingham and Sudbury, where he works, he said.
Though it takes a couple of months to be comfortable on the runs, Lutz said he doesn’t know what he would do to fill the void if he stopped running.
“You crave it eventually,” he said.
One of Lutz’s favorite places to train is the Callahan State Park, where there is lots of distance, with a bit of everything.
He said he can train on trails and hills without repeating his steps.
For longer runs, Lutz likes to travel to Walden Pond in Lincoln.
The Championship is a multi-series race, open to teams made up of members from the same corporations. Teams compete in regional races in cities close to where they work, like Frankfurt, Syracuse, Singapore and Boston.
The idea is to hold races in the evening, after the usual corporate work day has ended, and to have runners race a distance that busy corporate employees can have time to train for, according to the Challenge’s website.
After participating in these races, teams can qualify for the championship, which brings together the best corporate runners from around the world.
Two years ago, the challenge started to rotate between different international locations.
“It is cool to see new cities, and not just New York City,” Lutz said of the change. Lutz has done the championship six or seven times, he said.