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Face of FITNESS 2011 Cover Contest Finalists

We launched our first-ever Face of FITNESS cover contest last winter, and got a peek into your busy but active lives as well as a reminder of why we pour so much creativity into our pages each month. More than 3,500 women entered on our Facebook page; each week readers voted for their favorite. Five finalists were flown to New York City last June for a photo shoot. One lucky reader, Caroline Seymour, was chosen as our cover girl, plus she wins a five-night Hawaiian vacation at the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay, courtesy of Apple Vacations. Here, get to know the vibrant, strong beauties who embody FITNESS in mind, body, and spirit -- and learn their best live-healthy secrets.
Maria Pontillo Maria Pontillo

Maria Pontillo, 27, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

For Maria, working out isn't about looking good. "I eat right and exercise not just for myself, but to have energy to care for others," says the physical therapist, who moonlights as an aerobics instructor and personal trainer.

Top tip: "Motivate with a mantra. I have several that I repeat during races; I've completed ten 5Ks and five duathlons. My favorite is a take on something Lance Armstrong said: 'Pain is temporary; quitting is permanent.'"