Agreed, Dean - if we didn't love it so much we wouldn't bother to complain! While any solution is bound to be flawed, your suggestion of yesterday, or any other scheme should be put to the organisers to let them understand the frustrations of the runners and turn their atention to this problem.
I agree with Lagerman. Dean's suggestion is a good one except that it ignores the central problem i.e. the ignorance/self-delusion of the non-runners and the knock-on effect this has for the entire group. Neil D's message illustrates this brilliantly - unless you can trust every runner to self-certify his or her likely pace accurately, any starting system will be doomed to failure. The only way you might stop this failure is to police the system, which would be unworkable and quite contrary to the spirit of mass participation. The GNR is a great day out, but PBs will never be easy to come by there.
Great to see that so many people enjoyed themselves as much as I did. PB's were definitely not on the agenda yesterday, given the number of bods indulging their 6.30min/mile fantasies, and (in my case) the after effects of a cold, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking my foot off the gas and appreciating the spectacle. The crowds were terrific, weren't they? As I found last year, the best way of making a quick getaway from the finish is to catch one of the buses (553) which queue up just beyond the end of the finish - these take you in a pretty circuitous route to a Metro station closer into the City (Heworth?). I found it a lot quicker than going to South Shields and it had the added advantage of avoiding the on foot slog to the Metro station. Definitely back next year.
Having contracted two foul colds in the space of 3 weeks (that's what you get for marrying a GP) I sympathise with Polabear re. the GNR, which I'm also snuffling my way around on Sunday. One thing about the GNR: if you haven't got a cold before you start, with 47,000 runners in close proximity to you before the gun goes off you're quite likely to pick one up before the day's out. Sorry for the "cold comfort"!