As the cold weather starts to roll into the east, it is important that a proper warm up is done prior to running a race. Every person is different but no matter how long the race is, a 10-15 min warm is a great way to help prevent injury. A simple slow jog or fast-paced walk is a good start. A few short 10-15 seconds of race-pace running can be thrown into the warm up as well. You can do this with some warm clothes, which you can discard before the race begins.
If you are able to develop a light sweat, it would also be a good time to do some light stretching. Muscles, tendon and ligaments are more receptive to stretching and potentially less likely to be injured. Despite some recent studies, running distances greater than a mile is not affected by stretching before the event. Stretches should be done dynamically–such as moving lunges–as opposed to static stretching which would be trying to touch your toes and holding it there. Stay warm with a hat and some gloves, and you can also put some lubricant on areas that might get irritated due to dry skin and friction from more clothing. Train smart and stay healthy. Good Luck!