Katie Honeycutt, the North Carolina Watermelon Queen, helps distribute fresh-cut watermelon to Marine Corps Marathon participants. ( Courtesy National Watermelon Promotion Board )

Marine Corps Marathon sponsors with the National Watermelon Promotion Board provided almost 50,000 samples of watermelon to runners as the reached the finish line.

The volunteers handed out 48,000 containers of fresh-cut melon cubes. Each container had stickers with the message “Refuel, Rehydrate, Recover.”

“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 the hydrating benefits and nutrients for recovery found in watermelon,” Marc Goldman, the marathon’s marketing manager, said in a news release.

This is the sixth year the National Watermelon Promotion Board sponsored the event, according to the release.

“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,” Stephanie Barlow, the watermelon board’s senior director of communication said in the release.