Nov 7, 2018
Watermelon samples provided at 2018 Marine Corps Marathon

Athletes at the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) were rewarded with fresh, hydrating watermelon upon crossing the finish line. As an event sponsor, the National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) provided 48,000 samples of watermelon. Each carton of cubed watermelon was stickered with the message, “Refuel, Rehydrate, Recover.”

“Having watermelon at MCM is perfect for refueling the runners. It’s become the reward after a 26.2-mile effort,” says Marc Goldman, MCM marketing manager. “The huge presence by the Watermelon Board in the event’s Finish Festival is a great way to connect with thousands of individuals and boast about thehydrating benefits and nutrients for recovery found in watermelon.”

Stephanie Barlow, NWPB’s senior director of communication, shares that the amino acid citrulline, antioxidants, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and water content found in watermelon all have a role in helping athletes refuel, rehydrate and recover.

“This was our sixth year as an MCM sponsor. Bringing watermelon to Washington, D.C., is a capstone for the industry’s promotion and education efforts. Every watermelon queen and NWPB staff member plays a role in sharing watermelon’s health message,” adds Barlow.

NWBP, based in Winter Springs, Florida, was established in 1989 as an agricultural promotion group to promote watermelon in the United States and in various markets abroad. Funded through a self-mandated industry assessment paid by more than 1,500 watermelon producers, handlers and importers, NWPB’s mission is to increase consumer demand for watermelon through promotion, research and education programs. 

Watermelon packs a nutritious punch with each serving providing an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, and a delicious way to stay hydrated with only 80 calories. Watermelon consumption per capita in the United States was an estimated 16.3 pounds in 2017. Watermelon consumption in the United States was approximately 5.3 billion pounds in 2017. The United States exported an additional 339.1 million pounds of watermelon. For additional information, visit

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