And we wonder why kids can't concentrate at school for more than a few minutes without talking. Such immediacy is never required. And it's bad enough on the trains and buses with handset screamers, so we don't need such behaviour on the running side of life - it brings the sport into disrepute. Maybe we should have races for IPOD and phone users as they are a breed apart. I use the term races looseley - maybe a talkathon for them.
As another thread says - they have to allocate places to elite runners, clubs, good for age, charities(who have to pay, which probably takes time), foreign tour operators, runners who have been rejected five times consecutively and who know who else gets these places. Only then do they know how many are left for Joe Public.