Race Report: Sam Blenkinsop & Harriet Harper Win the 2020 Dodzy Memorial Enduro

Nov 8, 2020 at 11:12
by Matt Wood  

Dodzy Memorial Enduro 2020

Photos// Matt Wood, Digby Shaw, Jason Beacham

While the rest of the world is focused on the global pandemic and the reality tv show that is the US election, down in Nelson New Zealand they are focused on more important things, mountain bike racing. This was the 9th edition of the Dodzy Memorial Enduro and the 8th held at the Wairoa Gorge Bike Park. DME is a bit of a pilgrimage for New Zealand mountain bikers. Even though the standard of racing is extremely high, with both Downhill World Cup and EWS racers in the field, the racing always takes a back seat to the real reason everyone is there, to catch up with your mates, enjoy a few sports lagers and ride on some of New Zealand’s very best, and longest purpose-built trails.

The event is held in the memory of New Zealand mountain bike legend James "Dodzy" Dodds who was tragically killed in an accident in 2012. As well as being a keen racer, he co-owned NZ Trail Solutions, the company which built over 70 kilometers of some of the world's best hand-crafted trails at the Wairoa Gorge Park. Originally the DME was the only opportunity for the general public to access the once privately owned bike park before the land was generously handed over to the Department Of Conservation with Nelson Mountainbike Club running a regular shuttle service.

If you have ever had a conversation with a Nelson resident, the first thing they will talk about, even before they bring up their food allergies or cross-fit, will be how good the weather is in Nelson. "We only ever get one day of rain at a time" is a quote I overheard on Saturday, followed by "It has been pissing down for a solid week and is forecast to get worse."

With the event in jeopardy due to high river levels at Wairoa Gorge, the call was made on Thursday to adjust the usual 2-day event schedule down to a single day event as there was a heavy rain warning in place for Sunday. This resulted in one big wet day on the horse for the 280 competitors.

The stoke and punishing chat levels were not dampened by the rain and a quality day out was had by all.

The mud resembled any supermarket selection of peanut butter, your choice of smooth or chunky.

The moist mist in the upper mountain made for moody scenes

Although cornflakes are normally on the menu here in the native beech forest, they were masked by the slop covered roots and greasy rocks.

Today's champions Harriet Harper & Sam Blenkinsop

Masters Woman champ and fastest female time of the day Harriet Harper

Blenki on his way to taking his 6th DME title.

All bikes matter here at DME, but some more than others, hence the need for the hardtail hard-on award.

No kiwi celebration of life, love and bikes would be complete without a sender of a party, courtesy of NZ's resident bike frother of a DJ and Shapeshifter frontman, P-Diggs.

Nelsons Parrotdog Brewery supplying the refreshing sports lager.


Pro Women

1st. Rae Morrison: 17:39.66
2nd. Louise Kelly: +1:07.72
3rd. Fiona Murray: +2:10.03

Pro Men

1st. Sam Blenkinsop: 14:26.01
2nd. Charlie Murray: +0:06.16
3rd. Connor Hamilton: +0:31.44
4th. Samuel Shaw: +0:36.29
5th. Shannon Hewetson: +0:41.72

Full results can be found here.


  • 23 0
 Those last photos make it seem like the days before Covid. I want things to return so bad!
  • 12 0
 Life is 'normal' in NZ at the moment. So jealous of my mates back home having zero restrictions on life!
  • 20 3
 That’s because NZ did the hard work early on. People complained when riders weren’t allowed to compete at Crankworx because they had to quarantine instead, but who’s enjoying themselves now?!

I’m in Atlantic Canada and we’re pretty good here too, but family in NZ have it better and they’re only just beginning their summer!
  • 3 13
flag Madfella (Nov 9, 2020 at 10:28) (Below Threshold)
 Advantage of living in arse end of the world. Even better in Antarctica.
  • 1 3
 Go to Taiwan
  • 3 0
 @Madfella: Not really, just like to go to NZ, at the moment to go to Antarctica you need 2 weeks quarantine plus 2 or 3 negative tests, on top of the usual health tests.
  • 2 19
flag jclnv (Nov 9, 2020 at 12:20) (Below Threshold)
 Sweden is doing alright too and they hardly did anything. You think the virus is going to magically disappear? When NZ opens up to unrestricted global travel they will have cases and deaths.
  • 17 0
 @jclnv: we're in no hurry to open up. Enjoying unrestricted life too much. Also, Sweden isn't doing too well. Death and infection rates are bad, they just believe in free choice.
  • 4 10
flag jclnv (Nov 9, 2020 at 19:26) (Below Threshold)
 @karatechris: Infection rates (whatever that means with highly inaccurate PCR testing) are high everywhere. However, deaths are almost zero in Sweden. No higher than seasonal influenza that also effects the elderly.
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: Covid deaths in Sweden are 3x what the previous season’s influenza/ pneumonia deaths* were and those deaths occurred during spring and summer, not during the actual flu season.

* there is some thought however that lighter than usual flu deaths in preceding season exacerbated Covid mortality.
  • 2 5
 @KiwiXC: Yes most countries had a spike in April. It’s likely NZ will once they fully reopen to international travel. However, Sweden (like most countries) is currently at or below the five year death average.
  • 3 0
 @jclnv: Are you stupid? Sweden has had more deaths from Covid in the last week than NZ has had since the pandemic began. This is an article about riding not dying anyway, so keep it out of the comments especially when you don't know what you're talking about.
  • 1 5
flag jclnv (Nov 10, 2020 at 11:27) (Below Threshold)
 @BrendanVDB: 12 deaths? That aren’t specifically differentiated from influenza? Do you know what their 5 of 10 year average is?

Anyway here’s the reason why, long term, NZ have f*cked themselves - www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/11/06/2013182117?fbclid=IwAR09rdhdoSPt2AbqgmLxnf9Ek7nXPne6Eq4R6LV0N9XUQRVxQIa_Do6C2rQ

Stay safe.
  • 3 0
 @jclnv: How's does that article about the flu etc in the US have to do with our situation? Except at the border our life is almost completely back to normal. No social distancing, gigs and sports events like this. Sweden did not shut down completely but they are very restricted and their economy continues to suffer. I admit we are lucky to be an isolated island nation also. 1/5th of our population lives overseas and most of those are clamoring to get home.
  • 1 3
 @goffhorner: How is your tourism industry doing?

Anyway the point of the paper isn’t specifically about the US, it’s a about the effect of NPI’s on pathogens.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: I can answer the tourism part, its down around 40% from memory but nowhere near as bad as we thought it would be in Feb/Mar. You have to remember all the domestic tourists with no chance of travelling to international destinations are spending all their hard earned money on trips within New Zealand. Add to the fact we may have a travel agreement/bubble with pacific islands and Australian states soon things are only looking better.
  • 7 0
 Shouldn't the title be Sam Blenkinsop and Harriet Harper win the 2020 Dodzy memorial enduro? Rae was fast but Harriet was faster, even if she didn't sign up for the pro field.
  • 2 0
 It probably should be, the editor’s chose the title though.
  • 2 0
 Would only seem fair. Harpoon getting it done.
  • 3 0
 Fixed, cheers editor.
  • 4 0
 "All bikes matter here" with that award is possibly the best thing in mountain biking right now. Thanks for keeping it real NZ!!
  • 5 0
 Parrotdog is out of Lyall Bay in Wellington bro. Does travel well tho ????
  • 2 0
 Didn’t know P-Diggs rode bikes. Skated with him a bit about 20 years when Police Lucifer was still part of Wellington’s party scene!
  • 2 0
 @woody-nz outstanding write-up, right in the low-level wheel-house. Thaaaaaaaanks mate. Love & miss you all. PS. Brown bombers or do-bros?
  • 2 0
 Bombers for life
  • 2 0
 I lean towards do-bros but at the end of the day I'm a freegan, so if it's brown, fizzy, and free I'll drink it.
  • 1 0
 @woody-nz: you forgot the *at room temperature
  • 3 0
 @odinwoods: That's getting a bit fussy, I won't turn down a tin that's been in a hot car all day.
  • 2 0
 Dodzy was also another founder of Zerode bikes! It's Interesting that forgetting seems to be glued to that brand...
  • 1 0
 could you please elaborate?
  • 1 0
 @PonySlaystation: Well, Zerode DH bike is politely said "inspired" by Aaron Franklin's Lahar DH frame, which Zerode guys never publicly admitted. However, Dodzy's name is already mentioned in Zerode's History page. It wasn't some time ago!
  • 4 0
 I was lucky enough to park my tiny house at the bottom of the garden at Zerode HQ, believe me Dodzy was perhaps his best friend and is in no way forgotten.
  • 2 0
 @feazel: You had a good spot there, crazy flys though!
  • 3 0
 @brokenminds: you only make the mistake of leaving a window open at night once!
  • 2 0
 First Minnaar wins a world cup, now the master's women are beating the enduro pros. I like this trend.
  • 4 0
 Harriet Harper has a history of disrupting the pros at the DME!
  • 1 0
 Those roots make me shake in my boots. Yek.
  • 2 0
 Yeah Harriet!!

You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2023. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.042536
Mobile Version of Website