I’d argue there will be fewer lines to foul the main. You mean part of the normal runners and checks? (I’m figuring a typo?). If I understand that, it’s why I’ve gone back and forth on how much to connect everything. On Amati, the lower runners get out of the way more quickly- I always thought it’s because they’re shorter, and the blocks swing them down better, so they stay straighter more of the time. I gravitated for a while to heavier (older style) Harken blocks set high enough so they didn't bonk heads so I didn't need to use bungee cords or other lines to bring the runners/checks forward and hold them down. Crude but effective. The top runners have a lot of windage and they blow around an amazing amount with the aero of the main, which causes a lot of the mischief. I’ve noticed that the problem is not as bad on the present skinnier pinhead main than the big roach main. I handle the main and the runners myself while on the tiller, and the only time things get fucked up is when the lines get tangled with each other or the shrouds or the sail or the boom or body parts etc etc. (I’ve had a top runner wrapped around my neck!) If you have a cascade so the initial set (pull?) is 1:1, and things work smoothly, it’s easy and quick to do. I’ve never had a problem because of my timing pulling the lines (even if I’m getting thrown around in a violent sea) - that’s straightforward cockpit ballet which you can choreograph and practice. It’s always the lines getting entangled on something. My $.02.I don't think that reefs with top mast runners works because the top mast runners are also part on the normal runners and checks. So the runners and checks will still foul the reefed main.
The solution might be too man up and check the insurance.
This is great argument for unstayed masts. In steady lightish winds, runners etc are fun and effective, but when things get sporty…..