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Saguaro Half Marathon shines spotlight on watermelon in winter

The Saguaro Half Marathon, held Feb. 19 in Tucson, AZ, provided a perfect setting to showcase the health and hydration benefits of watermelon while putting the finishing touch on the two-year reign of National Watermelon Queen Paige Huntington.

Huntington was selected National Watermelon Queen two years ago for what is typically a one-year term. She stayed on for a second year due to the cancellation of the 2021 National Watermelon Association convention, where a new queen was to be selected.

At the Saguaro Half Marathon, Huntington helped distribute refreshing watermelon to race participants while serving in her role as the fruit’s top ambassador. Watermelon was provided by Cactus Melon Distributors in Nogales, AZ, and the company’s Christian Murillo also serves as vice president of the National Watermelon Promotion Board and is on the board of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

“We were very excited at the opportunity to provide fresh watermelon again at an in-person consumer event,” said Stephanie Barlow, senior director of communications for the NWPB, which sponsored Huntington’s presence at the event. “Plus, being in February, we are supporting the year-round watermelon availability message to teach folks that watermelon is available all 12 months of the year thanks to wonderful importers like Cactus Melon Distributing, which donated the watermelon. Healthy and delicious watermelon is a family favorite and a great way to rehydrate, replenish and refuel. Every season there’s a reason for watermelon!”

The watermelon industry will gather later this week in Nashville, TN, for the 2022 National Watermelon Association convention, where Huntington will pass the crown to her successor.

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