This was the finish jump at SW Regionals one year. It was fun to compare the runs and see how the lead ebbed and flowed during the course. Each dog had their strengths, and each handling strategy was selected to give that particular dog the best possible information. Echo (top) placed 2nd and I was thrilled.
Even though you are really competing against yourself and the best run you can put down - I hope you get to feel the fun of competing against excellent teams. With the right attitude it can be a blast!
It can also motivate you to get fit, to really pay attention to the lines you are creating, to think carefully about the pros and cons of different handling options, to strategize, concentrate, visualize and train. All of these things can be as much fun, or nearly as much as the run itself.
If you decide to compete in agility, strive to do the best you can to help your dog enjoy the process and that is not incompatible with doing your best to put the other guy .01 seconds behind.