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Race Report - Sungai Menyala Forest Trail

By Veronika Vadovicova

Running through the Malaysian jungle and away from the scorching heat!

© Video by Inspired Trail Runners

Getting There

Sungai Menyala Forest Trail is located in Port Dickson which is roughly a one hour drive from the Kuala Lumpur international airport. It was really easy and quick to reach our destination compared to many other races in Asia.

Race Area

Port Dickson is a coastal area with a large beach often visited by locals coming down from KL for the weekend. It's a vacation place but most of the hotels in the area are a bit old and run down. The race itself is situated in the Sungai Menyala Forest reserve next to Port Dickson. Getting there only takes 5-10 min by Grab from Port Dickson so transportation is very easy and convenient. Just be careful when arranging transportation on the race day - there is no reception in the forest reserve so you might end up being stuck there after the race pack pick up or after the race finishes.

© Photos by Inspired Trail Runners

Race Day

The SMFT is called one of the most runnable trail races in Asia and it definitely is thanks to a relatively small amount of climbing. The real challenge here was the heat. We only started the race at 7.30 am and it got super hot very quickly. Although a fair amount of the race was in the jungle where we were able to find some relief in the shade, a big portion of it was in an exposed area with very intense sunshine. It was therefore absolutely essential to carry at least 1.5 liter of water and replenish with more water at every checkpoint. The terrain itself was not very technical, we only had to pay attention to the tree roots in the forest. Since there was not much climbing we couldn't enjoy any nice views which for me is one of the highlights of trail running. The course was definitely most suited to those who like to run on flat terrain and who can cope with the heat.

© Photos by Inspired Trail Runners


The SMFT race is definitely good for those who are new to trail running and want to see what it feels like to run on a new type of terrain. It's a good start as you can choose from different categories (10km, 25km, 50km) so whatever your level is you can find something for yourself. Given it's proximity to KL it's definitely a go to for local runners. Coming from abroad it is a good race for a quick getaway but nothing spectacular in terms of course or scenery.

Special Highlight

Port Dickson is a vacation place with plenty of hotels situated right by the beach. The official hotel - The Grand Beach Resort - has a huge outdoor pool and it was a great place for post-race celebration!


Runner’s Score: 13/20

1) Accessibility: 5/5

2) Scenery: 2/5

3) Race organisation: 3/5

4) Atmosphere: 3/5

Asia Trail Girls Score: 4/6

1) Equal race spots: Yes

2) Equal prizes: Yes

3) Female specific t-shirt sizes: No

4) Photos of women on the website/social media: Yes

5) Separate sanitary facilities for women at race start/finish: Yes

6) Sanitary facilities at checkpoints: No

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