On your marks, get set, STRUT! The Miss England beauty queens compete in the sports round of this year's grand finals (and there's not a lock of hair out of place)
- The 51 finalists of Miss England took part in a gruelling sports round
- The ladies were put through their paces by military fitness trainers
- Miss Devon forced to pull out after accident on the way to the finals
The finals for Miss England 2015 kicked off in Coventry today but their first challenge was a far cry from the glitz and glam of the pageant stage.
There was no hint of the usual high glamour tiaras and glitzy ball gowns as the 51 finalists took to the race track of the Ricoh Arena for a gruelling sports round.
Miss Leicestershire Holly Desai - who was celebrating her 24th birthday - was crowned the fittest, after battling an eating disorder in the past.
The Miss England finals kicked off today as the girls took part in a gruelling sports round
The girls from across the UK joined professionals from the Xtreme Boot Camps, a military fitness-based regime, to put the girls through their paces for the most energetic task of this year's competition.
Despite working up a sweat the contestants all maintained a fairly glamorous look - taking to the arena in a matching kit of red hot pants, white crop tops and striped knee socks.
Members of the Xtreme team led the beauties in a series of challenges including weight lifting, sit ups, press ups, sprints and the dreaded plank.
Unfortunately one contestant, Miss Devon, was unable to take part as she was believed to have been involved in a car accident on the way to the competition. An official revealed that she was not seriously hurt.
All 51 finalists were required to take part in the series of fitness tests ahead of the glitzy pageant on Friday
The girls were put through their paces by military fitness experts at Xtreme Boot Camps. Miss Bristol Meg Abernethy-Hope (right) took part despite being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder last year
Although the workouts seemed pretty testing, many of the contestants managed to keep a permanent smile on their faces.
The winner of the fitness competition was Holly Desai, Miss Leicestershire, who was celebrating her 24th birthday today.
It was a huge achievement for Holly to showcase her fitness after suffering from an eating disorder in the past.
Miss Leicester Holly Desai, who was celebrating her 24th birthday, was crowned the fittest after the sports round
For Holly (pictured left and right) her win was particularly significant as she has overcome a battle with anorexia and bulimia in the past
Holly developed anorexia and bulimia after becoming addicted to dieting following the break up of her relationship in 2010.
At 5ft 8in and weighing seven-and-a-half stone, her Body Mass Index (BMI) was dangerously low at 15.9 (the NHS considers anything below 18.5 to be unhealthy).
Holly has since overcome her eating disorder and now weighs a healthy nine-and-a-half stone.
The girls brace themselves for press ups. Miss Devon was unfortunately unable to take part after allegedly being involved in a car crash on the way there
She hopes that her place in the competition can help her spread the word about the dangers of eating disorders.
She said: 'A lot of people have said that it isn't a good idea for me to enter a Miss England competition, given my history, but it's been really helpful to me.
'I was crowned Miss Leicester last year, and in my role, I've had to do loads of public speaking, meeting new people, and it's given me so much confidence.
'It's helped so much in my recovery and this year I hope I can be crowned overall winner.'
Also taking part was Miss Bristol Meg Abernethy-Hope who was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) last year.
The condition affects the body's ability to produce platelets which enable blood to clot.
The 18-year-old was put on an intensive course of treatment, which included steroids and chemotherapy.
Last year the pageant's Director Angela Beasley said accusations that the contest was inappropriate nowadays were old-fashioned.
She said: 'We've come a long way from girls just turning up with their heels and swimsuit and walking on a catwalk to be judged.
'Now girls take part in various rounds including a tough sports round - you have to be physically fit.'
The Miss England grand finals officially kick off on Friday night at 7pm at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The winner will get the opportunity to compete for the coveted Miss World title in China.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3196831/The-Miss-England-beauty-queens-compete-sports-round-year-s-grand-finals-s-not-lock-hair-place.html#ixzz3ik2zwYGe
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook