What's with all the talk of *deserving* racers? At this point, no one is what I would call a bad racer - they've all watched the show and have a pretty solid grasp on what you have to do to win. I mean, the race is what it is - they have to visit businesses and tourist attractions with hours of operation to complete tasks. It would be more wrong to try to manipulate the race to suit the racers - this way, they have to accommodate to their surroundings which to my mind makes it more of a challenge.
You can try to figure out ways to outperform your competitors, but look what happened yesterday - for all of Jonathan's supposed brilliance in stopping to see a travel agent, they ended up on the same flight as Lori & Bolo, who just humped it as fast as they could to the airport. Kris & Jon almost blew their flight by reserving by phone instead of in person (although I can't understand how you can be denied a ticket if you have a reservation number).
The racers we see now are faster and smarter because they know the race, so barring extreme exceptions like the Lena & Kristi thing, the races are going to finish closer and closer - to my way of thinking it's a good thing.