Nov 16, 2022
Team Watermelon rehydrates Marines at DC marathon

The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) distributed watermelon to Marines at the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in Washington, D.C.

At the Oct. 30 event, the NWPB distributed 28,000 samples of watermelon to runners, friends, family and supporters from all 50 states and more than 50 countries.

With a return to in-person events, this year’s Team Watermelon consisted of a troop of 26, including NWPB Board president Christian Murillo, every watermelon state association’s watermelon queen and coordinators, Class Produce representatives and and volunteers.

National Watermelon Queen Bethany Barfield interacts with U.S. Marines at the Oct. 30 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. The queens handed runners 28,000 samples of watermelon. Photo NWPB

In its 47th year, the marathon hosted more than 11,000 marathoners, nearly 5,000 10k runners, and 982 Ultramarathoner finishers.

“This is the second year I’ve had the opportunity to be at MCM, and to be able to see people’s smiles when you hand them fresh watermelon is such an inspiration,” Murillo said in a news release.

The sold-out marathon, the first live running event since 2019, is known as “The People’s Marathon,” and is one of the largest marathons in the world, according to the release. Unlike other marathons, runners aren’t required to qualify to enter. It offers no prize money but is a run for all people. For many, the event is the runners’ first marathon attempts.

“As an industry, MCM is a prestigious and patriotic event that we look forward to participating in every year,” Stephanie Barlow, NWPB’s senior director of communications, said in the release. “We are grateful to be back in-person and able to give away a fun, healthy and hydrating fruit to everyone including athletes, supporters, Marines, and even pets. In our eight years, we have become favorites in the Finish Festival with repeat runners sharing their appreciation. Watermelon really is the perfect post-run treat, helping runners replenish, rehydrate and recover.”

For years, MCM runners look forward to seeing the NWPB and the watermelon queens, Andrea Siegel, marketing and sponsorship manager with the MCM organization, said in the release.
“MCM, MCM10K and MCM50K runners were more than happy to bite into the juicy watermelon to quench their thirst and hunger, and with the beautiful weather at this year’s event, watermelon was an especially perfect treat,” she said. “Thank you to the NWPB for your unwavering support. We look forward to continuing our partnership in 2023.”

The Winter Springs, Florida, based NWPB was established in 1989 as an agricultural promotion group to promote watermelon in the U.S. and globally. Funded through a self-mandated industry assessment paid by more than 800 watermelon producers, handlers and importers, NWPB’s mission is to increase consumer demand for watermelon through promotion, research and education programs.

PHOTO: State watermelon queens show their W for watermelon at the Oct. 30 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.  Photo NWPB


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