Welcome to our August Vagabond Time Trial!

This month we're running the gritty and, in hindsight, virtually impossible, Thumper. Thumper is one of Austin's best kept secrets, so only share this with your closest friends!

This 2.0 mile course will test your mid-summer fitness as well as well as your route finding and navigation skills. Thumper is a technical mountain bike course on a small green belt in the Great Hills neighborhood. It gets it's name from the feeling a mountain biker experiences in his or her chest when trying to own these trails.

But this trail isn't just a challenge for mountain bikers, it will humble the best of trail runners if you're not careful. Thumper is technical and windy, you're constantly ascending and descending, and route finding can be elusive. Let's call it a double black diamond! Make sure you don't blow yourself out in the first mile...

I recommend scouting this route before trying to clock it. Because of the difficulty posed by route finding, I will mark the course starting at approximately 8:30 Monday morning. As always, you have from Sunday morning to Tuesday afternoon to run your route.

Everyone of you is capable of solving this problem. As you're out there Vagabonding, remember that not all who wander are lost!


Thumper is accessed at the Dominion at Great Hills Park: 
6600 Yaupon Dr, Austin, TX 78759

Be sure to park in the dirt parking lot under the power line stanchion across the street from the playground and park.

After you cross the street, enter the park's pedestrian gate along the side walk. After passing the play ground (on your left), enter the second trail branch to your left. This will take you by the power stanchion seen in this photo (and below) and right up to the bench and map at the start/finish trail head.

If you accidentally take the first trail branch, no worries. It will take you to a set of cedar framed stairs which will dump you at the start/finish trial head.


Thumper Stanchion.jpg

After entering the trail branch leading to the trail head, you'll pass a power line stanchion (pictured above). The trail head is just passed the power line stanchion.

At the trail head, you'll see a bench and a trail map. From the trail head, you'll head left on the blue route, following the arrows pictured in the image above.


I marked the course with neon green surveyor flagging which you can see in the photos below. I used heavy marking to guide you through intersections and then used confidence markers sparingly in between trail junctions.

This trail junction is the split for the Blue and Orange loops. This is the view as seen running from the Blue loop. This is the point at which you transition from the Blue Loop to the Orange Loops. Therefore, you will follow the split to the left. 

When you return to this point, you will pick up the Blue Loop again. From the runners point of view (coming from the opposite direction this photo was taken), you will bear left at the junction on your return to regain the Blue Loop.

Soon after gaining the Orange Loop, you will come to this intersection. This is where you crossover the Orange Loop to start your counterclockwise journey around the loop.

As you complete the Orange Loop, you will return to this junction from the trail shown on the left side of this photo (you will be coming from the opposite direction this photo was taken). Continue passed this junction in the opposite direction this photo was taken.

NEVER take the trail to the right as shown in this photo. You will pass this trail junction in both directions as this section is part of an out and back on the Orange Loop.