There was an article in the NYTimes today “No More Innovation for the Fun of It”. The point of the article was that many of the big companies like Apple and Google have turned into businesses that really only care about money. And in that pursuit they do things like capture information and figure out ways to use it to gain more money.
What this means is that you pay $3.25 to sign up for a $25 race. They then start sending you emails. Most of those emails contain ads from races and others – they are making money from your email. They try to direct runners to their website to sell more ads. And of course they have gone far beyond running in terms of their focus and business model.