Don't organise races for charity and you won't run into these problems. Just charge enough to cover your costs with a bit of contingency. Don't worry about T-shirts, medals, goody bags etc as real runners don't want all that nonsense and most of your problems go away.
Sorry, I realise this is an old thread, I'm falling into a trolling trap (Robin Hood indeed) and everyone has moved on with their lives but I didn't want to let this bit of mean-spirited snobbery to go unchallenged. If you like medals, T shirts and all that nonsense it does not mean you are any less of a "real runner" than someone who does. You can be a "real runner" and like big races, you can be a "real runner" and like small races. Who cares? I would venture that it is this very brand of snobbery that drives a lot of newer runners away from local events like this and towards bigger events where they know there's a stronger likelihood that the field will be made up of a greater mix of abilities and they're less likely to face this very brand of elitism. Running is for everyone.
Well, I finished in 1:52:20. That's a PB by 22:30 on my last attempt 5 years ago. Definitely something to aim for next year now. I love this race but I do wish that entrants would submit realistic estimates of how long they expect to take. I finished right in the middle of where I stated I expected to yet I had to spend the first 2 miles trying to get past so many people with blue numbers going at a pace that would have put them in the pen behind me, not in front.
I wouldn't want to hold anyone up so I refuse to play that game myself but it's really tempting I have to say.
Well done Gary, I was about a minute behind you. With a big race I don't think they're ever going to solve this issue, unless they start yanking people out who are in wrong pens. Once you've done a few races you realise its not helping anyone to start ahead of where you should - especially yourself (being overtaken is demoralising). Sticking around the pacers really helps as everyone is going same pace. Certainly helped me. So my solution would be more pacers!