Not only do I wear earphones, but I also take a portable DVD player with me. The extended versions of any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy pretty much see me through an entire marathon, and on average I only run into about 100 people per race. Thats around 0.5 - 1% of participants. A very low percentage! I like to block out as much of the event as possible!
Ive done this for the last 2 years and have enjoyed both years. Its a friendly atmosphere, nice setting, a good course, and the event village has plenty of stuff to keep spectators and competitors amused throughout the day.
On the fundraising part, its an event organised with the purpose of raising money for charity through a sporting event. Thats not everyones thing, but as far as Im aware, the targets they suggest are merely that, targets. They're not strictly enforced and they dont send the boys around if you dont raise that amount. Personally, I find it refreshing to see a bloke use his profile to try and do some good, cos there are plenty of people in his position who dont engage like that.
£120 entry for 2 super-sprints (or 1 super-sprint and 1 sprint if youre good) seems a bit steep, but the entertainment (including post-race BBQ and live music), organisation, course, and little add-ons throughout the day make it pretty good value for money in my opinion. I cant say I felt ripped-off.