World indoor silver medalist Jamie Bowie will represent Scotland against teams from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France and Germany in this weekend's indoor international match in Glasgow. The 400m runner tells SPIKES about his proud Scottish routes.

Proud crowd

Bowie is a committed Team GB member. His world indoor silver medal came in Sopot last year as part of the British 4x400m team. He also competed in the heats at the Moscow world champs, where the British team finished fourth.

But at this weekend’s meet, old acquaintances will be forgotten, and Bowie will compete for Scotland and Scotland only. The same was true at the corresponding meet last year, and at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games where Bowie was part of the team that set a 4x400m Scottish record. The crowd played no small part.

“At the same event last year I lined up against Chris Brown, an Olympic medallist. The roar that I got from the Scottish crowd was far more powerful that he got. That was kind of an inkling as to what Hampden [Park, Glasgow, which held the Commonwealth athletics events] would be like.

“During the Commonwealth Games, at the opening ceremony, I was near the front of the parade. I just remember the excitement of the crowd when they could see us getting ready to come on to do our lap. That was pretty fantastic.

“It had kind of been built up to for the last seven years, since it was announced that it would be in Glasgow. The Commonwealth games had been on my mind and had been my motivation, so it was nice to be there and perform well there as well.”

 

Jamie Bowie ()

Bowie handing over the baton to Greg Louden in the 4x400m at the Commonwealth Games in Hampden Park, where the Scottish team ran a new national record

The road home

Jamie Bowie moved from his hometown of Inverness to Edinburgh for university. He still lives and trains in the Scottish capital, but there is no place like home for the 25-year-old.

“My parents live just outside of Inverness. Where they live you get this view of the Moray Firth and Ben Wyvis [which translates from Gaelic to English as “Hill of Terror”], and you’re not far from Loch Ness as well.

“The scenery on the way up is always pretty breathtaking. I know I’m coming home when I see the mountains get a bit bigger, and the landscape getting a bit more extreme, and just start enjoying that view. And the family, of course.”

 

 

 

The Highlands for ever I love

Along with Irn Bru, Buckfast and Ewan McGregor, the Highland Games are one of Scotland's most successful exports. They take place everywhere from Bermuda to Brazil, but it's on Scottish soil that they have the most prestige.

Though you would never catch him lining up against a bunch of burly Scots in the tree-throwing contest, Bowie's performances in running events have earned royal ascent.

“When I was younger I used to compete in the Highland Games. Each town and village has its own festival during the summer.

“There are track events, which I used to do, and then they have the heavy events like toss the caber – which I was never built for and never ventured in to – and the Scotch hammer. There are bagpipes galore and stuff like that. It’s good fun.

“A couple of years ago I went up to Braemar, where the Queen is the royal patron of the games and she always attends. I won a couple of events and my trophy at the end was presented to me by the Queen.

“I had just finished the 400. The royal enclosure is up a small grass hill of about five metres. When I was announced they wanted me to run up this wee hill – I was petrified that I was going to fall and faceplant in front of the Queen. But I think her and Prince Philip appreciated how tired I’d be after the 400, and how muddy it was as well.

“I still got a short conversation. I think I said something quite funny because in the picture she’s half-smiling-half-laughing. I can’t really remember what I said, but she was mildly impressed.”