Mascot J. Slice and Alabama watermelon queen Montana Savage bring watermelon to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive at the Marine Corps Marathon Kids Run.
Mascot J. Slice and Alabama watermelon queen Montana Savage bring watermelon to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive at the Marine Corps Marathon Kids Run.

The National Watermelon Promotion Board and National Watermelon Association provided tons of the fruit at Marine Corps Marathon festivities in Washington, D.C.

The association’s watermelon queens and mascot J. Slice served athletes and families Oct. 24-26. It was the board’s second year as a sponsor.

“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,” Stephanie Barlow, director of public relations and social media for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, said in a news release.

More than 30,000 participated in the marathon. At the finish festival Oct. 26 in Rosslyn, Va., the board served 20,000 samples of watermelon. Thirty bins of product were cut up.

At a three-day health and fitness expo, the board offered recipes and nutrition research on watermelon’s capacity to replenish electrolytes like potassium, and offer sore-muscle relief from the amino acid citrulline.

At the Oct. 25 Kids Run, about 3,600 youth ran 1 mile at the Pentagon parking lot. National Watermelon Queen Brandi Harrison and mascot J. Slice were official race starters. Watermelon queens handed out 1,200 pounds of fresh slices while distributing recipe cards, coloring sheets and stickers.

The board will sponsor five “Jump with Jill” shows — a music-based health program — next spring for five local schools that had the most participation and won awards.

At the mascot games, J. Slice joined Marine Corps bulldogs Miles and Molly and others to compete in a 100-yard dash.