Depends on what you were going for. I'll have to assume given the subject it was more documentary, and for all intents and purposes, it works fine. I feel like you may have gotten more out of it if you were slightly further ahead of them and turned back toward them (IE you were about 20 feet to your left), but as you mentioned, if you weren't stuck with a group that wasn't prone to stopping, they probably wouldn't have wanted to do that either.
As for cutting out the girl to the left, I say leave it as is. Yeah, sometimes things like that can be distracting, but for documentary purposes, subtle things that dont get in the way of the subject can add to that 'documentary' feel. I feel like the guy in the background with the dog is slightly more distracting than her, but I personally wouldn't lose either.