I'll be racing Nationals for the first time this year. As a West Coast racer, I'm unfamiliar with how best to dress for racing in REALLY cold conditions. Any suggestions form those more familiar with these conditions would be greatly appreciated.
Excellent advice without exception! I especially like the warming up in the car tip ... that's not as silly as it sounds. Furious warm-ups on the trainer can end up costing you - as I've learned from experience. It's better to "ease" into the race starting out warm and dry. Your clothing suggestions are also spot on ... it's my "costume" right down to the wool socks, extra LS jersey, Jacket and Warm-Ups, all shed right at the line. Just make sure to wait to de-clothe after you get the Minute to GO!
One tidbit that I've not seen my fellow KC crossers touch on is wind. Regardless of the temp, you can bet there will be plenty of wind which will drop the effective temp quite a bit. One trick that I've used is to put a thin windvest over a long-sleeved base layer (cheap alternative to the zoot Craft windfront stuff.) I'm pretty cold-blooded and this combo under a skinsuit works pretty well down to about 30F. It keeps the core warm without a lot of bulk to trap moisture.