The Run For Your Lives mud run in Darlington got away with so much because they didn't bother to file for permits and go through the inspection process. It was a one day event, so they didn't bother to contact the county. Its easy to get away with things like this for a one say event under the radar.
Regarding what they get away with in PA, we agree there. We are under the biggest microscope in the world in Maryland but you literally cross the border in the land of self inspections, slanted carpeted hallways, crawl spaces, 2 foot wide passages and all the things you mentioned as well.