...and the above is exactly where you are wrong.
I do not have disdain for pros and I am not trying to drive them out in any way. What I do have disdain for is people who tell me I need to support the pros becuase they are the lifeblood of the sport. They are not. This is easily proven by realizing that if for the next 10 years only the pros raced IM, IM would fold. Conversely, what would happen if only AGers raced IM for the next 10 years? I know you get that.
Additionally, just becuase they can do it faster than I can doesn't somehow make them more entitled to do it in AMERICA.
So let's agree there's room for all of us. However, the concept that one group needs to be subsidized because they have decided to do this for a living is outrageous. That concept, I have disdain for.
I hope you stick around long enough, with an open mind, to gain a perspective larger than your own.
FWIW, I'd rather my entry fee be weighted toward the pro prize purse, rather than paying for a gazillion lifeguards, road closures on the bike for 11 hours, and aid stations every mile of the marathon. But you know what? I don't lobby for that because I accept there's a place for people finishing slower than 16 hours, even though they're a small percentage and their race eats up a disproportianate share of the costs. So be careful about whining about the outrageousness of subsidizing small groups of racers. That finger might be pointing at you and your buddies.
Fair point about the lifeguards, road closures, and aid stations using additional resources.
I guess what I'm saying is if we broke the race in two, you can take the pros, I'll take the AGers and we'll see who has the more profitable business over time. To me, that's the easiest way to quantify who is bringing dollars to the table.