Freeze Your Fanny celebrates anniversary


January 30, 2020

For the last three decades, Superbowl Sunday has kicked off with our own, local tradition: a bracing run through the streets of Sundance. The 30th anniversary of Freeze Your Fanny takes place this weekend and will once again be the chilliest fundraiser of the year, following the same route and with all the same reasons to take part.

The four-mile course starts and ends at the courthouse on Cleveland Street and will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m. on February 2. Walkers will set off at 8 a.m. and runners begin an hour later.

The bravest of local runners have gritted their teeth through the deep winter weather since Hugh Palmer started the tradition 30 years ago. He and 16 friends drove to Rupe Hill and ran back, gathering around a wood stove in his garage when they finished and eating pancakes in his kitchen.

An avid runner, Palmer needed a name for his race. The Palmers settled on “Freeze Your Fanny” because “it sounded exactly like what the people would feel” – the coldest race so far has clocked in at a bonechilling -11 degrees F.

To commemorate the 30th race since Palmer’s friends gobbled down those well-earned pancakes, organizer Stacy Marchant says new “medals” for top male and female in each category and special 30th anniversary mementos for every participant have been designed, crafted, designed and donated by Sid Keller and Betty Lantis of Mill Iron Staple Leather.

“The overall winner will receive a YETI cooler donated by All Around Drilling – Wes & Katie Moody,” says Marchant. Winners will also receive mugs donated by Katie Anderson.

Some new prize categories will also be included this year, says Marchant, but “we’re keeping exact prizes for Oldest Participant, Youngest Participant and Best Costume a surprise!”

“Registration is open online until race day and people can sign up the day of, but to make things run more smoothly, we’d like people to sign up online if they’re able,” says Marchant.

To sign up for the event, visit the race page at, the event’s Facebook page by searching “Freeze Your Fanny Sundance” or on Instagram @freezeyourfannysundancewy.

Door prizes will be handed out during the event. According to Marchant, frozen fannies this year will have the chance to win a huge range of items, including gift certificates for CrossFit Reserve, Spearfish Yoga & Cycle, City Brew, Cowgirl Pizza, Zero Gravity, Buffalo Jump Saloon, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Aladdin Cafe, Black Hills Salt Cave and Spa and the Longhorn Saloon & Grill.

Door prizes also include clothing items from Anomaly Boutique, Sundance Hardware, Impressions, Peak Motion PT and All Around Drilling; locally made items from Tanja Miller; LimeLife items from Callie Hilty; a basket from RFM Construction; kombucha from Scobi Kombucha; and certificates for free running shoes from Brooks Running. Marchant expects the list to keep on growing right up till race day, so there’ll almost certainly be a few more surprises included.

Other donations so far include stocking hats from Croell Inc. and the graphics designed and printed on all race shirts from graphics.

Breakfast will be served between 7:30 and 10 a.m. and is included in the price of entry for runners and walkers.

Prefer your hiney hot? For just $5, you can sit down to enjoy breakfast in the warm while you cheer on the brave souls outside. All proceeds from the hot breakfast will go to the Sundance High School Student Council.

Proceeds from the race itself will go to Sundance’s high school and junior high cross country teams, says Marchant.


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