Leading Briton Chris Thompson thanked the Portsmouth public for their vociferous vocal backing before admitting their encouragement may have cost him a faster time.
The European 10,000m silver medallist led the home challenge with a fourth-place finish but was disappointed with his finishing time of 48min 07sec – after simply running too quickly over the first half of the race.
And Thompson, who is more accustomed to running on the track, believes the crowd support made him run too fast, leaving him with little left in the tank for the tough final two miles.
Thompson explained: ‘The support was ridiculous – it was like a smaller version of the London Marathon out there.
‘The crowds were amazing and I loved that atmosphere, so thanks to everyone who came out to watch.
‘I came here thinking I was in phenomenal shape but it was very tough running. I didn’t respect the course and I got over-ambitious in the first half of the race.
‘I paid for that massively and it was silly of me.
‘But the support might have been one of the factors – you get pumped and you want to run even harder and then you haven’t got much left later on when you need it.
‘I felt good and went for it but I was too confident and it bit me on the backside.’
Irishman Alistair Cragg clawed his way past Thompson in the closing stages after a steady pursuit and his more even-paced strategy paid off with an impressive showing.
Cragg said: ‘Chris looked awesome and I thought if I can get anywhere close to him, I would be happy with that.
‘But it gave me a nice target to go after Chris and I caught him at about seven miles.
‘It was a great event and I really enjoyed it.’