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Sat December 9, 2023 Melrose, MA 02176 US Directions


3.5 Mile XC Run

12:00PM EST

2 Mile Walk

12:00PM EST


100 Slayton Rd.
Melrose, MA US 02176


The Mount Hood Nutcracker Challenge (formerly “The Assault on Mt. Hood”) is excited to welcome runners and walkers again for this year's 17th round over the hilly Mt. Hood Golf Club. This race is a unique cross-country race in the Greater Boston area in that the course changes every year.  Runners look forward to a vigorous team competition, challenging course, and vying for the coveted nutcrackers!  Others arrive festively dressed for this December race, come for the experience and challenge of XC running, and look forward to the post-race get-together inside the historic Mount Hood clubhouse.

XC Team registration procedure

Runners interested in being part of a 3- or 4-person team (see XC Team divisions below) have the option of creating a team or joining an existing team during registration. 

Creating or joining a team during registration: You'll have an option to do this when registering starting with 'Sign Up', or by clicking on the 'XC Teams' menu.  Note: Team name is different from a Running Club name.  You can enter your Running Club after the Team entry section.

Creating or joining a team after registration: Multiple ways!

  • Sign into your RunSignUp account.  Select this race, then Manage Registration, and go to the Teams menu.
  • Team Captains can add or change team members online by signing into their RunSignUp account and doing the following steps: Profile / <select this race> / Groups Edit Group / Back to XC Team Page / Add Member.  You'll need the name and e-mail address each runner uses for RunSignUp.
  • A Team Administrator (see below) can assign you to a team.
  • Team Captains can fill out a Team Registration form on race day, providing member names and bib numbers

Club Team Administrator option:
If a club likes to assign members to teams after seeing who has registered, a designated Club 'Team Administrator' can become the Team Captain for all of their club's teams. Create a RunSignUp account if you don't already have one, then e-mail the following information by 12/6/23 to:
     1) Team Administrator's name and e-mail address used for the RunSignUp account
     2) all the Team names and respective Team division (see below)
The Team Administrator will then be assigned as the Team Captain for all the teams.  He or she can then go to their account and Manage Registration, select Groups, then for each team name, select Edit Group to assign team members.  Changes can be made online right up until race time.

XC Team divisions

3-person teams: Male Open, Female Open, Male Masters (40+), Female Masters (40+)

4-person teams: Coed Open (2 men, 2 women)

Team scoring is by total time.


Top 3 M+F overall

Top 3 M+F in age divisions (19-under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-over)

Top 3 teams in each division


Nutcracker figurines to awards winners; pasta and salad lunch; cash bar

Youth Pricing

The entry fee for runners 17 and under has been reduced this year: $20 early registration (until Dec. 4), $25 thereafter.  Age is based on date of registration.



Housing Families, Inc. and the Melrose HS XC teams.

Race limit

400 runners


No strollers allowed

Race day registration hours

10:00 – 11:30 am at Mt. Hood clubhouse

Bib pick-up location & hours

  • Fri. 12/8/22: 3 - 7 pm at Marathon Sports, 401 Main St., Melrose

  • Race day: 10:00 - 11:45 am, Mt. Hood clubhouse


The course changes every year and encompasses almost all of the 18 hole golf course, as well as making “good use” of its several hills!  The course runs over fairways, short woods sections, paved golf cart paths, and some road crossings or short lengths. This year’s course has 3 short road crossings, and about 1/2 mile total asphalt.  One water stop is provided.

The start is about 0.1 mile from the clubhouse; finish is at the clubhouse.

The nominal 2 mile walk (1.9 miles this year) starts along the same course, then short-cuts to the finish after about 1.6 miles.

Mount Hood Nutcracker Challenge XVII Course map follows.

Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.


Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, please contact the race director at


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