Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Turkey Trot Brings Out 22 in One Family
The Dansie family celebrates the completion of last year’s Turkey Trot in Hailey.
Thursday, November 22, 2018


Some people can’t celebrate Thanksgiving without Grandma’s special cranberry salad; others, without a heaping helping of gratitude soup.

For the Dansie family Thanksgiving means Sun Valley.

And, in the last few years, it has meant doing the Turkey Trot with several hundred Wood River Valley residents.

Pajama time at the Sun Valley Lodge.

Twenty-two members of the Dansie family ranging in age from the patriarch--85-year-old Elbert Dansie-- to 2 and a half-year-old Claire will do the 15th annual 5K Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving morning as it winds its way through Hailey.

“My sons and their wives run marathons and three of my grandchildren do half-marathons so they do it to run, while my husband and I are just in it to finish,” said Shanna Dansie. “By the time it’s over, my son might be first and my husband might be last.”

The Dansie family has been coming to Sun Valley from their home in Salt Lake City for 42 years in all four seasons. This year family members from as far away as Texas joined the record number of Thanksgiving travelers expected on the roads and in the air to make their way to Sun Valley.

“We discovered it when our children were little and just kept coming. Five generations of the family have enjoyed Sun Valley. And, although our parents are now gone, we recently added two great grandchildren,” said Shanna, who has six children.

Must've been a spa day, as the girls pose in front of the wall art at the Sun Valley Spa.

The family appreciates the beauty and calm relaxed atmosphere of Sun Valley, Shanna said.

“And the area has stayed so much the same. Often, you go back to other places and they’re unrecognizable,” said Shanna.

Over the years, the family has stayed at the Sun Valley Resort Lodge, Inn and Dollar Meadows. Since there are several lawyers in the family, they always come for the Utah Bar Association convention in the summer.

“We’re a rather active family so we do it all—fishing, skiing, biking, hiking. We love to go shopping in Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey and even Bellevue,” said Shanna.

Anne Dansie and Mary Dansie Milliner take part in the family’s annual scavenger hunt.

“Four years ago we decided to try the Turkey Trot and, when I ask the family what they wanted to do this year, that’s one of the things at the top of the list.”

Eldred’s and Shanna’s six children include a CPA, doctors, city planners, even an English professor at Brigham Young University.

But they like to have fun when they’re not working.

One of their favorite games is Fox and Geese where they stand in a circle in the snow, stomp out lines across the circle and then allow the “fox” to chase the “geese” as they run in those paths.

This Turkey Trot was a little colder than the first.

“We even come for the Running of the Sheep. We really enjoy that,” said Shanna.

Chamber Director Mary Austin Crofts spent the week stuffing hundreds of Turkey Trot bags with  Chamber water bottle and sunglasses donated by Mountain West Bank  with the help of three volunteers from Compassionate Young Leaders.

She says stories like the Dansies’ make it all worthwhile.

“It’s not just the kids who are taking part. It’s the whole family. They love Sun Valley and they love the Turkey Trot,” she said.

The Turkey Trot has proven so popular over the years, sun or snow, because it’s about community, she added.

“This is our Thanksgiving. I think people love it because it a way to share what we love about each other,” she added.

Lindsey Spurling-Wright, Crofts sidekick at The Chamber, agreed: “I think it’s a good activity for families, for everyone to come out and do as a community. And it’s a chance to do something active and healthy.”


There’s still time to show up for today’s Turkey Trot. Just trot on down to Main Street Hailey and sign up before the 10 a.m. start.

The entry fee is $40 for individuals, $10 for youth 10 and under and $70 per family.


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