Ryan, ditto here for hearing your theory.
Clearly I care about competitive running. But as an individual runner, I'm not competitive. When I look at my own times, even though they are improving, I know full well I'm midling to average. Sure, I can occasionally dent the rankings for my age group. But when I look at all who came before me and what they accomplished, as discussed below, I don't even feel adequate.
But would I want more competition? Yes, to see how I'd stack up, and no, not if it's going to take away what little hardware I'm apt to get. That may be a really lame argument in favor of my own mediocrity.