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Sandy Springs Lightning 10k/5k

2016 Collage

The Doug Kessler Sandy Springs Lightning 10K has been one of the fastest 10K races in the state of Georgia for the last 27 years. Designed for runners who enjoy a flat course through the lovely Sandy Springs community and neighborhoods, this is one of the most popular Peachtree Road Race Qualifiers and has grown to include a 5K race. Held on Saturday morning before the Festival, the race incorporates MyLaps Championchip Timing, to electronically records the runners’ times immediately after crossing the finish line.

Doug Kessler, who passed away in February 2005, was always looking for ways to make “his” race the best around. It started out as “the Fun Run,” and ultimately became the Lightning 10K because Kessler wanted runners and walkers to think of the phrase “run like lightning” while they were racing. To this day, it is still recognized as one of the fastest around! Kessler’s wife, Margie, has played an instrumental role in continuing to help grow the event that Doug held so close to his heart. “It will be a great event for our city and will serve as a great reminder of Doug,” she said.

2017 Registration5k Price10k PriceDeadline
Early Bird$20$25July 20
Advance$25$30August 20
Late$30$35September 20
Day Of*$35$40September 23

*T-shirts not guaranteed for registrants after September 8


Registration is held at the Sandy Springs UMC Activities Center parking lot, located next to the Water Tower, off of Mount Vernon Highway and Sandy Springs Circle. Parking is available at Century Springs East on the corner of Lake Forrest and Mt. Vernon Highway.

  • USATF–certified
  • Peachtree Road Race qualifier
  • Fast and flat course
  • Route along Mt. Vernon Highway
  • Tree-lined, residential course

2017 Timeline:

7:00 a.m. – 7:40 a.m. Race Day Registration

7:40 a.m. – 7:55 a.m. Race Warmup led by Burn Boot Camp Sandy Springs

8:00 a.m. 5K and 10K Start

8:45 a.m. 5K Awards

9:00 a.m. 10K Awards

The start of the 5K and 10K will take place together starting at 8:00 a.m. am beginning on Mt. Vernon just under the water tower, near the intersection of Lake Forrest and Mt. Vernon, right in front of the United Methodist Church.  The runners will head down Mt. Vernon with a 5K turnaround point on Mt. Vernon while the 10K runners proceed to Old Powers Ferry and Northside Drive, doing a lollipop and returning on Mt. Vernon.  The course will be well marked with road chalk, volunteers, traffic cones, and police.

The Sandy Springs Lightning is open to the community including children, strollers, and dogs. We do ask that all strollers, walkers, and dogs move to the back of the start line.

Packet pick up is held the Thursday prior to the race from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Heritage Sandy Springs administrative office, 6110 Blue Stone Road. Race numbers may also be picked up at the race site on Saturday starting at 7:00 a.m.

The closing of Mt. Vernon Highway and Old Powers Ferry will affect access to several neighborhoods. The Sandy Springs Police Department will begin closing Mt. Vernon Highway between Lake Forest Drive and Sandy Springs Circle at 6:30 a.m. and will re-open the race route by 9:30 a.m. when all runners have passed.

Thank you to these sponsors of the 2017 Sandy Springs Lightning 10k/5k:

Each year, the Doug Kessler Sandy Springs Lightning kicks off the Sandy Springs Festival with a 10k and 5k with separate prizes for men and women. Runners receive a free technical t-shirt and sponsor giveaways. It is a great chance to increase awareness of your business, while at the same time supporting an active and diverse community. Contact us to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.