There are races incorporated into these events but only the first several hundred, if that, are even able to race. After that, it becomes just a mass of humanity moving through the streets of a big city. I guess, for those who like that kind of thing, it's fine. Personally, I'm becoming less interested in these big events all the time. I don't regret for one moment running Chicago 3 years ago but I'm finding less interest all the time in ever making a return trip to that event.
To each their own. I'm becoming more interested all the time in the less ridiculously large events.