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The Doug Kessler Sandy Springs Lightning is in its 27th year and is one of the fastest 5K &10K races in the state of Georgia. 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. Held on Saturday morning just before the start of the annual Sandy Springs Festival, the race incorporates chip timing for instant results.
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.
The 5K and 10K will take place simultaneously starting at 8:00 am, beginning on Mt. Vernon just under the water tower near the intersection of Lake Forrest and Mt. Vernon in front of the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church. The runners will head down Mt. Vernon with a 5K turnaround point, 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 both strollers and dog runners but for safety reasons stroller and dog runners will not start until after all runners clear the start line.
This is a USTAF Certified Race Course and a Peachtree qualifier!
Runners will have the option of running a 5K (3.1 miles) or a 10K (6.2 miles) course. Participants will have a timing chip on their bib which assures accurate finish times for each runner. Please note that the race is a Gun-timed race which means that all runners have the exact same start time. If you are a fast runner and going for awards, you need to be towards the front of the pack at the start. Again, we do ask that all walkers and/or runners with strollers/dogs move to the back of the pack. For the route map, click here: https://heritagesandysprings.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2017-map.jpg.
USATF Certification - http://www.usatf.org/events/courses/maps/showMap.asp?courseID=GA14076WC
Awards will be given for top 3 finishers of each age category for Male and Female. We will also award the top overall M & F winners of each race as well as the M & F masters winners.
The age categories are 10 under, 11-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 over.
Wicking t-shirts are guaranteed to all registrations received BEFORE 11:59pm, September 7th. Those who sign up on or after September 8th are not guaranteed a race shirt. Any extras will be given out on a first come, first serve basis at the conclusion of the race.
There will be plenty of parking but be sure to arrive early to get a good spot. You may park at Century Springs Park LLC located at 6000 Lake Forrest Dr., Atlanta GA 30328.
From I-285, exit at Roswell Road and go north (outside the Perimeter) to Mount Vernon Highway. Turn left onto Mount Vernon Highway, and the Sandy Springs United Methodist Activities Center will be on your left.
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 6:00 a.m. and will re-open the race route by 9:30 a.m. when all runners have passed.
The race will happen rain or shine. Be prepared to run in any weather. Only in the cases of extreme weather will changes to the race schedule occur. Please check the Sandy Springs Festival Facebook page on race morning for real-time updates on the status of the race if there is severe weather.
Online registration closes at 11:59pm on Wednesday, September 20th. After online registration closes you have two opportunities to sign up for the race at at Packet Pickup (directions and time below) and on race morning at the start/finish line from 7am - 7:40am. It will be cash only. $35 for 5k and $40 for 10k.
No refunds or transfers from person-to-person or year-to-year. While we understand schedules change and things come up, we have a strict no-refund and transfer policy. Race Management reserves the right to cancel or modify the event due to extreme conditions such as weather. Registration fees are not refundable in the event of the race cancellation due to “Acts of God" or things outside of the control of the Race Director.
PACKET PICK UP
Packet pick up will be held on Thursday, September 21st, from 2pm - 5pm at Heritage Sandy Springs office located at 6110 Blue Stone Road NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. You may also pick up your bib number and tshirt on race morning starting at 7am at the start/finish line.
Both events will be timed by Elite Race Timing. Each participant will receive a race bib with a timing chip attached to the bib. Results will be provided at the finish line and will be posted to Elite’s website immediately following the race at www.eliteracetiming.com.
We will have one water station on the course at the 5K turnaround. Runners are also encouraged to bring water bottles with them. Additional water and post-race snacks will be available at the finish line.
Come prepared to go to the 32nd Annual Sandy Springs Festival immediately following the race. Our race course allows you to finish only steps away from all the vendors and fun activities happening immediately after the race.
Dogs and strollers are allowed on the course but for safety reasons they cannot start until ALL runners and walkers clear the start line. Dogs must be on a leash at all times as required by Fulton County law. Once the start line is clear, we will allow strollers and dogs to start.
In case of an emergency, please immediately notify one of our volunteers or a police officer.
Porta-potty facilities will be available at the start/finish area.
The Sandy Springs Lightning and its volunteers cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. We do not have a secure area of safekeeping for your personal items. You will be responsible for anything you bring to the race.
THANK YOU to our great event sponsors! If you are interested in being a sponsor, we have many sponsorship packages that will meet your needs. This race is not possible without the support of our sponsors so please support them year-round!
Proceeds from the race benefit Heritage Sandy Springs, the community non-profit organization that presents the annual Sandy Springs Festival.
Interested in getting involved? We cannot pull this off without many helping hands, so please consider volunteering your time, skills, and/or resources. Please click the contact link and submit your name through this portal to help volunteer. Be sure to leave your email and phone number so we can contact you.
Questions or comments? Please submit through the comment box and we will follow up with you as quick as possible.
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