Ideas for next year, kids:
Start on time. Crazy. But when the majority of racers are waiting at the start because "people are still getting here" 30 minutes late, they tend to get pissed off and DON'T WANT TO SMILE for the TV cameras. They also may want to trip the people who were late.
Have a clear course that can actually accommodate the number of racers. It's hard to start a race on time if the (late) incoming racers are still crossing the course between miles 1 & 2. Oh, and if you have a double loop course, it's not a good idea to ask the main pack to "stop for a few minutes to let the leaders go by." Not unless you plan on stopping the clock or are willing to risk hordes of angry people trample you.
Organize a race and not a marketing event. An anonymous source from NYRR shared some interesting thoughts "we had no control over the course or the race... Nike wanted 10,000+ people and they weren't going to start until they were all there. And they wanted it on Randall's Island - regardless of whether it was the right place." Thanks Nike. Glad you thought this one through. And NYRR - understand the need for corporate partnerships but your main responsibility should be the runners. This course was simply unsafe in many places. It kills your credibility. Bad bad bad.
The Human Race in NYC deserves to die out.