Yes, I understand that it doesn't help expand the fanbase. People want to see people they can associate with and, for whatever reason, they don't associate with the Kenyans. If they heard the personal stories of these guys, they may think differently but they aren't going to bother. That said, I don't think you're going to lose existing fans with a 2011-like season. If anything, it's raised my interest and excitement for 2012 a bit.
That was a single installation at a single event but imagine if they did a traveling exhibit. This kind of display in Chicago, New York, Boston, Houston, Duluth, Minneapolis, Sacramento, and elsewhere in conjunction with those cities' marathon weekends. No doubt the infrastructural issues you raise are real issues that need to be addressed if we want running to be more mainstream but promotional events like this sure wouldn't hurt.