Note: This is part of a series. You can read part one here.

Having completed the first leg of the 40-mile forced march in twice the amount of time allowed to pass the selection phase, I was sure I was behind the power curve, but felt strong and fast and in good spirits. I felt confident that I could make up the lost time by skipping any breaks for rest, food, or to urinate.

Daylight was dominating, and a light rain had ceased falling. The air was cool and sweet, and I had actually taken in some of the beauty of the forest and vegetation that sailed by me as I half force marched and half ran up a very winding path that was available to comfortably ascend the steep slope.

At times I would sacrifice the comfort of the path for the speed of scrambling painfully straight up a steep slope. I would resort to the path as a means to recover from the direct ascent. Once rested, I would make another excursion straight up the slope. I felt there was a combination of the two climbing techniques that would lead to the fastest speed for me.