Sandy Springs Lightning 10K/5K Races Celebrate 28 Years as Official Start to Sandy Springs Festival

Registration is underway for the 28th Annual Sandy Springs Lightning 10K/5K, the official kick-off to the 33rd Annual Sandy Springs Festival, presented by the community non-profit organization Heritage Sandy Springs. The races will be held Saturday, September 22, 2018 with the 10K starting at 7:50 a.m. and the 5K starting at 8:00 a.m. Both courses are USAT-Certified and the races feature electronic chip timing.

The longest-standing race in Sandy Springs began in the fall of 1991, spearheaded by the energy of longtime Sandy Springs Festival volunteer Doug Kessler. Known as the “festival fun run”, the race ultimately became the Lightning 10K because Kessler encouraged participants to “run like lightning” while they were racing. Kessler was committed to improving and growing the race each year, until his death in 2005. Kessler’s wife, Margie, continues to play an instrumental role in planning the event that Doug held so close to his heart.

“These beloved races are always an exciting kick-off to the annual Sandy Springs Festival, which will have a ‘new and improved’ footprint this year,” said Sarah Poland, Director of Marketing & Community Events at Heritage Sandy Springs. “We are thrilled to continue the 28-year tradition of the Sandy Springs Lightning 10K and 5K, and runners can count on the same fast and flat course to help them qualify for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race!”

Runners may register in advance online at Participants receive a high performance technical t-shirt*, complimentary water and post-race snacks, and giveaways from sponsors. Everyone is encouraged to register early in order to take advantage of early bird pricing, as well as to guarantee a t-shirt. Runners may also register day-of beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 22 at the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Activities Center Parking Lot.






Early Bird



June 19




August 19




September 19

Day Of*



September 22

*T-shirts not guaranteed for registrants after September 10

The 2018 Sandy Springs Lightning 10k/5k is presented by Heritage Sandy Springs and is sponsored by the Sandy Springs Society, the City of Sandy Springs, Visit Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism, Resurgens Orthopaedics, Kim Russell Realty, and Sprouts Farmers Market. Businesses who are interested in sponsoring the races and/or festival are encouraged to contact Sarah Poland at


The Sandy Springs Festival has historically been held at Heritage Green and the surrounding streets; this year’s festival will also incorporate a portion of the brand new City Springs property. Festival dates and hours are Saturday, September 22, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 23, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit