10 Tons of Watermelon Served at Marine Corps Marathon
- by ANUK Staff
The following text was copied verbatim from a press release:
Winter Springs, FL – October 28, 2014 – At 92 percent water and chock full of nutrients, watermelon is a naturally hydrating food fit for the finish line. That’s the message National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB), along with its entourage of watermelon queens from National Watermelon Association (NWA) and mascot J. Slice, shared during the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) festivities in Washington, D.C., October 24-26 where it served a truckload of healthy watermelon to athletes and families.
“From watermelon queens decked out in crowns and sashes touring D.C. landmarks to hydration tips shared via social media and 10 tons of refreshing watermelon at the finish festival, watermelon made a showy appearance at the Marine Corps Marathon during the Board’s second year as a sponsor,” says Stephanie Barlow, NWPB director of PR and social media.
Starting with the three-day Health & Fitness Expo where runners picked up their registration packets, NWPB shared recipes and nutrition research showing why watermelon is nature-made for athletes – offering replenishing electrolytes, like potassium, and sore-muscle relief from the amino acid citrulline.
At Saturday's MCM Kids Run, nearly 3,600 D.C.-area youth ran one mile at the Pentagon parking lot. National Watermelon Queen Brandi Harrison and mascot J. Slice acted as official race starters for one wave of youth runners.
“The Kids Run fosters a healthy family lifestyle. To that end, NWPB is sponsoring five 'Jump with Jill' shows – a music-based health program – next spring for five local schools that had the most participation and won the ‘Healthy School Award,’” shares Barlow. During the event, watermelon queens met with families and handed out 1,200 pounds of fresh watermelon slices while distributing recipe cards, coloring sheetsand stickers. At the Mascot Games, J. Slice joined the Marine Corps’ bulldogs Miles and Molly and others to compete in the 100-yard dash.
Known as the “People’s Marathon” and the third largest marathon in the U.S., more than 30,000 athletes participated in the Marine Corps Marathon this year. On Sunday at the MCM Finish Festival in Rosslyn, Va., NWPB served 20,000 samples of refreshing watermelon to athletes and their supporters.
“At the end of a grueling race, watermelon not only puts smiles on people’s faces, it supplies needed fluids and restores important electrolytes and nutrients,” notes Barlow.
Don Hiller, NWA president and The Class Produce supplier, adds, “It’s very rewarding to supply finishers and veterans with watermelon at the end of a ‘job well done.’ We cut up 30 bins of product this year – and it was all gratefully accepted.”
Many runners consider watermelon the perfect post-race food. Several regional watermelon grower organizations have picked up on the opportunity to tout watermelon’s restorative, hydrating properties and sponsor local runs.